by Bobby Blevins
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
and I live in Princeton, WV.
My brother spent the summer of 1997 with me and, while here, he helped a friend do some plumbing work in the basement of a retired school teacher. After the work was finished, Mrs. (name here) asked my brother if he would clean out her basement, and rather than trashing everything at the dump, she told him he could keep anything that he wanted.
There were a few nice pieces of antique pottery, an antique rocking chair, and many other miscellaneous items that he brought home to consider keeping before emptying the truck at the dump. After putting the antiques away in the house, we sorted through everything else and kept a few items of novelty use (if nothing else).
Among those items was a newspaper delivery sack with several old Bluefield Daily Telegraph newspapers still in it. After checking a date on one of the newspapers, and seeing it was published January 23, 1957, we put the newspaper tote-sack under my back porch (barely out of the weather) thinking they would at least provide some humorous reading of the outdated news.
My brother left in August of 1997, and didn't return until December, 1999 when our grandfather passed away. He passed on Dec. 23, 1999. We buried him 5 days later on his 93rd birthday, December 28, 1999. You can see this wonderful man's picture on www.ancientfaces.com (Oscar James Blevins).
Paws death urged me to do our family genealogy that I had been putting off for several years, and in May 2000 I met with my father, and his sister to get family information to begin with. Neither of them could remember their grandfather's first name, but I knew his nick-name (Jackie) from his daughter's obit a few years prior.
I got all the siblings names, and decided to post on a mailing list with the names, but no dates. I got many replies from the BLEVINS mailing list, and all of them suggested that I include dates and locations if I hoped to find someone who could connect.
And then, a final e-mail came saying that she recognized all the names, and we were cousins. This cousin corrected me on my gr-grandfather's name. I was given the correct name of Solomon Jackson Blevins. That was the first time I had ever known his name, much less ever know the man.
A few weeks later on June 17, 2000, I was having a yard-sale. Right before the time the yard-sale was to begin, I walked by my back porch and seen the newspaper sack that was holding the newspapers. "Oh well," I thought, "it laid in a basement for 40 years, and it has been under my back porch for 3 more, it's time to let someone's trash, become someone's treasure." With this thought, I carried the tote-sack out in front of my house and placed it on a table to offer the curious yard-sale shoppers.
It was a slow yard-sale day, raining for a moment, and sunshine the next. To kill a bit of the boredom of the slow day, I pulled out one of the newspapers to humor myself with. Since I had only very recently begun my genealogy research, as I sat down in my chair, I automatically turn to the obituaries. When I opened the paper to the obit page, I was almost threw out of my chair, and back into the yard off of my porch.
The first name I see is Solomon Jackson Blevins! I was now holding in my hands, the full newspaper with my great-grandfather's obituary in it! How astronomical could those odds be? Those newspapers laid in a basement in my hometown for 40 years; then they were dropped off at my house before being taken to the dump as trash, and it laid there barely out of the weather for three more years before I found it, and came to find its true value.
In my opinion, it is a Miracle - I came face-to-face with my deceased Great Grandfather on that day! I have met, and know the man now!
Submitted: Sun Dec 17 2000