01 March, 2012

{this memory} 40

This is the story behind last Monday's {this moment}.

You're in Georgia - Homer, Georgia to be precise, and you're looking at the parsonage for the Methodist Church there. Homer is just over 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, about 8 miles north of I-85. Current population is about 1000.

I've never been in this home, but my maternal grandfather was born there in 1892. Thomas Oliver Rorie's father - also Thomas Oliver - was the preacher there. My grandfather also became a Methodist minister as did his son Glen, my uncle. I mention these names primarily because they are my namesakes. In a wonderful twist of irony, I am named after three Methodist ministers.

A decade or so ago I was driving back to Virginia from Atlanta where one of my daughters was in medical school, and I felt compelled to take a short side trip off the interstate to visit the old church. My wife and I found it unlocked and were able to explore it a bit, take some photographs, and stand where surely my great grandfather had preached.

We also found a few copies of the church cookbook and left a note describing why I was there with a small donation plus the cost of the cookbook. My mother, of course, was thrilled and began a correspondence with the current minister. He sent this photograph.

It's all about roots and knowing where you came from. It's about family. So many wonderful memories - I am truly a fortunate man.