I heard he was run out of town...

Back row: Proctor (my grandfather), John, Charlie, Henry.  Middle row: Cora, Elsie.  Front row: Franklin and Mary Jane, my great grandparents
I don't know a lot about my ancestors.

As a late in life baby, all my grandparents and a lot of their contemporaries were dead long before I was born.

I have always been curious about those who came before me, and I admire people like my friend Jennifer who spend hours in cemeteries and libraries tracking down obscure birth dates and names and details that would otherwise be lost.

Most of the stories I know about my father's family I heard from my Mama, who heard them from my Daddy and his sisters over the years.  I'm not even sure where I got the picture above, and I probably wouldn't even know who they were, but my grandfather (Proctor, the tall one in the back on the left) looks so much like my Daddy it takes my breath away.

But as best as I can tell, my Daddy's family was a colorful bunch.

Looking at the picture above, I can kinda believe it.

Then last week out of the blue, some random distant cousin who I don't even know sent a five page history of our family to another of my cousins, who shared it with me.

Combined with some of the stories I heard from my Mama, here are some things I know about my great grandfather (Franklin, seated, left).

  • He was a farmer and his wife was a homemaker.  
  • In the 1920's he sold tobacco for five cents a pound.
  • He helped build the Addison Dam, which was located near Stephensport, Ky in Breckinridge County.
  • He once saw Frank & Jesse James while visiting Central City, Ky.
  • He was born August 25, 1866 and died April 22, 1947.
  • He was married on January 1, 1900.  Happy New Years!
  • He was a known womanizer.
  • Once there was some trouble involving either a) a woman or b) a stolen horse or c) both and he was either d) almost hanged or e) run out of town.
Take your pick.

Looking at the picture of him there, I can believe any or all combinations of that story.  He just looks like he was up to no good, doesn't he?  

Also, for some reason when I look at this picture of him, I get a feeling that he was someone who had a sense of humor, liked to have a good time, and probably never, ever needed to borrow any trouble.

But that's just my mind filling in the gaps, I guess.

So on this Father's Day, I'd like to give a big ole shout-out to my great grandfather, Franklin Marion Allen.  Although I never knew you, I suspect some part of you still lives on in some part of me.  

And although I can't be certain, I also suspect that it may be that little bit of a mischievous streak I find in myself from time to time.

Yep, I think that might just be it.

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