Friday, August 7, 2009

Frenchtown Ohio USA

This is the skyline of Frenchtown Ohio which was the center of my universe for the first 20 years of my life. The center of town consists of a turkeyfoot cross roads ( a cross roads with a twist in that there is an S curve in the middle with a 3rd road entering into the mix which looks like a turkeyfoot from the air).
Like many small towns in Darke County the church is the center of activity. Holy Family Catholic Church was established in the early 1800's,+frenchtown+ohio&source=bl&ots=sfxcZgo9v9&sig=Iba0NN2-Jaysqrqd77F8xtO6o2c&hl=en&ei=cBB8Sp-SApiqtgeh0LX5AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Obviously Frenchtown had many French folks as early residents, a lot of names like Grilliot, Barga, Bey, Goubeaux, Baltes, Subler, Magoteaux(or Magoto or Magato) among others are still common in the area.

For a guy my age , walking thru the cemetary in Frenchtown is like walking down memory lane when looking at the many names on headstones that were so much a part of my life as a kid growing up in the community.
A lot of long forgotten anecdotes popped up in my mind while I was there. When I saw the grave of Urban Winner who was a close neighbor on an adjoining farm from where I grew up I recalled a neat story I heard as a kid in the 1950's. Urban was talking to a Mr. Demange(Frank?) who at the time also lived on an adjoining farm, about their experiences in WWII. DeMange was a POW in a German prison camp which was liberated by Allied troops. One of the first persons Demange met was Urban Winner--these were 2 guys who back home could see each others homes across the fields reunited in a German POW camp.

I can not count the number of things like this that came to mind while in the Frenchtown cemetary. Things that I thought I had forgotten were remembered about family and friends like they happened last week.I imagine a lot of folks have similar experiences in situations like this.

This is one side of my parent's headstone. Mom was from a small town in Indiana named Trinity and was considered an outsider of sorts when dad brought her to Frenchtown . I guess I did something similar when I drug Miss Sassy from her home in Toledo to Darke County Ohio USA.

This is the reverse side of the headstone. Dad was a member of the First Air Commandos or Flying Tigers in India and Burma during WWII. What an interesting learning experience I was fortunate to have attending some of the reunions of this bunch over the years. Getting to meet these vets and hearing their stories was fascinating.

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