Ten years ago, I picked up my oldest brother for a visit to the old family farm so he could point out the exact burial location of three of our great grandparents babies who died in infancy.
The babies were buried on the farm in an apple orchard wrapped in blankets. No markers were placed on their graves. Our great grandparents barely kept the living children fed. Cash for purchases was a dream not a reality.
bob and I walked over the new radically different landscape than the one he knew as a child. All of the orchards, berry patches, trees and buildings were gone. In their place was weeds and some of the contours that existed back in the days of the farm.
After thirty minutes we found the depression of an old ditch and after another thirty minutes of stepping and siting distances from the creek and the road, were fairly sure that we’d located the right spot.
I talked to city officials and alerted them to the presence of the graves as new homes were being built in the area.
In February 2009, I wrote about that experience and the to ensure that information about the graves existed in more than the report to the city.
Earlier this week, my second oldest brother stopped for a visit. He had been thinking about the graves recently and wondered if I had the names of the three babies. Apparently, he wasn’t in the loop when we talked about looking for the graves all those years ago and hadn’t seen the map I created at that time
In less than a minute noted that my old map was wrong! The location we’d identified was actually 400 or more feet south of the correct location.
He noted that he visited the graves weekly as a young man living on the farm and on Memorial Day visits with our grandmother. Using Google Maps, he identified the exact location of the graves in less than a minute, describing each turn in the creek, swell and valley of the land and relationship to surrounding features.
When I later looked at a USGS topo map, the new location exactly fit everything he’d said when pointing to the Google satellite view of the location.
Next week, he is going to file the appropriate paperwork with county and city officials.
So, next time you think you have proof of a fact but your proof is based on memory, check and double check the facts. If only memories serve as the source, find a second and third person with the same memories to confirm your conclusions.Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2013-11-07 06:00:00
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