Archive for the ‘Kenneth Randolph Taylor 2013’ Category

Ministerial Cottage, Americus, Georgia, and Difficult Memories   Leave a comment

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 01

All Photographs by Kenneth Randolph Taylor, May 8, 2015

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In 2006 my parents moved into a ministerial cottage at Magnolia Manor in Americus, Georgia.  He was already declining due to Alzheimer’s Disease, although that diagnosis came later.  I had moved to Athens, Georgia, in August 2005, so I visited occasionally.  Geographical distance protected me from the worst of my father’s dementia and physical problems (some of them related to it) most of the time.  My mother, however, was not as fortunate.  Being his caregiver was quite difficult.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 02

A friend in Athens lost her father to Alzheimer’s Disease also.  She told me that her father had died about ten years before his physical death.  I have come to understand what she meant, for the man who died in October 2014 occupied my father’s body yet was quite diminished from the man who had raised me.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 03

My mother occupied the ministerial cottage until the beginning of June 2015.  I paid my last visit, mainly to help her pack, in early May of that year.  Looking at the rooms stirred up difficult memories related to my father’s illness.  I recalled, for example, that, on Thanksgiving Day 2013, shortly before my father left the house for the last time and entered the nursing home (visible through the kitchen window) involuntarily, his behavior prompted me to take a long walk up and down the sidewalks beside Lee Street just to get away from him.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 04

It is unfair that often the last memories we have of certain loved ones are difficult.  When these loved ones die physically, they have actually died already, for the people they were have ceased to exist.  Trying to conduct a simple and intelligent conversation with such a loved one in the final stage of life might prove impossible.  One seeks to treat him or her with respect and dignity, but he or she, as he or she is at that phase, makes that difficult.  I have compassion for these loved ones and for those who struggle to treat them properly, for I have had a taste of what that is like.  Even visiting my father in the nursing home for an hour at a time was emotionally and physically draining.  Repeating myself too many times due to his confusion, bad memory, and bad hearing was difficult.  I tried to be kind, but I realized that I did not know what do in that moment.  A sense of futility had set in.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 05

Fortunately for everyone, especially my father, he died before Alzheimer’s Disease had a chance to do its worst.  He knew his family until the end.  I had suspected that the end might come in late 2014, as it did.  His death was merciful for all involved.  I recall watching him struggle with confusion and become frustrated.  But what did he feel that he could not communicate to anyone?  What was it like to be him at the end?  That struggle ended in October 2014.

Ministerial Cottage May 5, 2015 06

We humans associate memories with where events occurred.  I associate my father’s end and the final stage of his decline with Magnolia Manor, Americus, Georgia.  Now that no member of my family lives on that campus anymore, I have little reason to visit the place.  That is fine, for I seek to build positive memories when I visit Americus.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 2, 2016 COMMON ERA

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More Family History Pictures and Writings Coming Soon   1 comment

Barrett Papers

Above:  George W. Barrett Documents I Retrieved Recently

Photograph Dated December 31, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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This month, during a visit to Americus, Georgia, I retrieved a number of documents and photographs, many of which I will use to update this weblog.  There were more George W. Barrett sermon outlines, most of which I can date to 1938-1942 because of a certain document.

List of Pastors

Photograph Dated December 31, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

I can even name the congregation–Underwood Memorial Methodist Church, Atlanta, Georgia (now Tenth Street Underwood Memorial United Methodist Church)–from which my great-grandfather retired from active ministry in November 1945.  There are some other sermon outlines on pages which someone removed from a journal back in the  mists of time.  Unfortunately, most of those other journal pages are almost certainly lost, and I have some partial outlines.

Page 189

I do not have page 188.

Photograph Dated December 31, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

I also have some old photographs, many of which are in excellent condition.  Others, however, have faded, unfortunately.  But I will do my best to take care of them.  And I will, of course, share images of them here.

This journey through family history is really quite interesting!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 31, 2013 COMMON ERA

Islands of Night Sky   Leave a comment

Islands of Night Sky

Above:  The Original Text

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AUTHOR’S COMMENT:

I looked up at the sky tonight and thought of “islands of night sky.”  So I wrote the prompt down and let it develop into a concise form.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 11, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Islands of night sky

populate the ocean of clouds

above my head

on a cold night.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 11, 2013 COMMON ERA

Cold, Wet, and Gray Day   Leave a comment

Chalfont Drive December 8, 2013

Above:  Chalfont Drive, Athens, Georgia, December 8, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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On a cold, wet, and gray day,

after having attended church and

consumed the body and blood of Christ,

there did commence, I am glad to say,

a quiet, studious time, one easy to stand,

but indoors, which, I do surmise,

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was proper, given the weather.

It was a time to study and to grade,

as well as to make family history

inquiries.  These quiet behaviors

near lamps were for today made,

given the outdoor cold, wet, gray misery.

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It was an indoor kind of day

on which to do little–and that

at a leisurely pace–and to consume

caffeine and well-lit to stay,

for such weather affects me bad-

ly; outside felt like doom.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 8, 2013 COMMON ERA

Home II: Parking Lot   Leave a comment

Home II

Above:  The Beginning of the Draft of This Poem

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On a December morning,

I pull into the parking lot

of an auto parts store,

in search of ice scrapers.

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Inevitable is my noticing,

next to that spot,

where, for a month in 2010, I did score

high school graduation papers.

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It was a brief employment fling,

something which I got

to supplement my teaching pay, for

I thought I’d like to grade more papers.

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Instead, I wound up learning

that the part-time job did not

satisfy me, and even bothered me sore-

ly; the task I came to curse.

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It seems that my scoring

proved too strict.  I got

no invitation for an encore,

for my standards I did not reverse.

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That ended three years and a month

ago, and I am still in town.

When I was a child, seldom did I remain

anywhere longer than three years,

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so my tenure in Athens doth stunneth

me; I smile, not frown.

Moving so often was a great pain,

one which engendered terrible fears

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within me.  My blessings of stability runneth

over; I welcome familiar sights and sounds

from three or more years past.  The main

thing is that they are around here.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 3, 2013 COMMON ERA

December Rain   Leave a comment

Chalfont Drive, December 3. 2013

Above:  Chalfont Drive, Athens-Clarke County, December 3, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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On a late afternoon

in early December,

rain falls, uttering

“pitter, patter,”

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hoping, perhaps, that I will swoon

and not, as I collect the mail, shiver,

in the wet and the temperatures cooling,

then return home, water splatter-

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ing until, quite soon,

my home I re-enter,

mail delivering

into dry shelter.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 3, 2013 COMMON ERA

Animal Snack Bar   Leave a comment

Animal Snack Bar

Above:  The Second Draft of the Poem

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Bird seed and deer corn–

quite a feast for neighborhood wildlife–

birds, squirrels, and deer–

who gather in a backyard in the morn

and the afternoon with hunger rife.

Yet of humans they have a fear

proper for creatures wild born;

it probably preserves their life

elsewhere and just continues here.

Their presence I will not scorn,

for it proves soothing amid strife

caused by someone near.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 28, 2013 COMMON ERA