Coffee with Emmett

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Readers, I knew a while back when planning this research trip that the first thing I would do when I got to Pensacola was to visit St. John’s Cemetery and to pay a call, in person, on Emmett.

I wasn’t sure what I’d find. But, that’s OK. In my grand scheme to cover all the research sources in three days or less, I’ve learned that I need a second trip down here to get everything. If that sounds like I’m disappointed, I’m not! It is a heck of a long drive, though.

Add in the stress of driving through Atlanta at any time of the day or weekend, with out--of-state tags for a real driving adventure.

Add in the stress of going through Atlanta at any time of the day or weekend for a real test of your defensive driving skills. Just sayin’.

And tonight, I’m just very tired. It’s been a long but enjoyable three days of driving and digging around in different archives.

Emmett’s buried in the older section of St. John’s Cemetery in Pensacola. It wasn’t too hard to find him; the cemetery’s web site has a map, along with the specific locations of the graves.

Coffee with Emmett.

Coffee with Emmett.

The visit with Emmett wasn’t exactly what I imagined (I thought it would be quiet, peaceful, serene) because there was a groundskeeper working nearby.

He was using one of those weed whackers, so there was the annoying buzz as I tried to have a nice first visit. I won’t complain, though; the grounds are very well kept.

Also, I’ll admit that I was hoping to feel some kind of big, spiritual or psychic jolt while I was visiting him, but I was mostly tired and feeling discombobulated from having driven several hours that morning, after an uneven night’s sleep. It’s OK, though. I have several chances to visit with Emmett this week.

My impression on the first visit: It was pretty obvious that no one has visited Emmett in decades. His friends and immediate family have been long gone. He’s been forgotten, basically, like most of the other folks in the older part of this cemetery. The visit made me feel good; that he isn’t forgotten anymore.

Selfie with Emmett.

Selfie with Emmett.

It was good to meet Emmett, finally, and to have a cup of coffee with him, talk about the research, ask for suggestions on where to look next, things like that.

We’ll get together with coffee again before I head over to Chipley in a few days. I’m going to visit Emmett’s childhood home (which is still standing and in very good shape).

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to whatever new information that turns up as the research quest continues. I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

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