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Beau's Journey » 2008 » May

Archive: May, 2008

June 1, 2008: Dodson Road and Dodson/Emerson Cemetary

  David took me down a road today named after our family.  We were in search of an old school house – Dodson School to be exact.  We did not find it.  We ended up on a gravel road with a gate that kept us from getting to our destination.  We did, however, find an old cemetery.   The Dodson/Emerson Cemetery.  They misspelled the name (perhaps we can get that fixed).

  We discovered some graves, of our family, back to the 1700s!!!!!!!!!

  So we arrived at this grown up area in Graves County.  Nothing but brush and trees.  You could barely see into some of the forested areas.  The mosquitoes were everywhere – tics crawling – hot, about 87 degrees and humid!  It was like stepping back in time once we got in there.  These old gravestones that have been untouched for who knows how many years.  At first we could not find anything.  We looked and looked.  There was just so much brush.  Finally David spotted a couple of tombstones.  These were the Emerson’s.  We are still working on how they are connected to the Dodson family.  After finding the Emerson Tombstones we started looking for the Dodson’s.

  I finally climbed up in a tree stand, that someone had built for deer hunting, and looked around the forest.  Nothing.  It was just too grown up.  We decided to go back to the car and look at the map.  We looked in one last place, while swatting mosquitoes and sweating, we found an area that was grown up and over with brush and weeds – about four-five feet high.  We spotted a grave and then another.  One was sticking up like a monument – about four feet high or so. 

  We climbed our way through the brush and made it to the first stone – DODSON was written on it.  We found what we were looking for.  Then we found a few more.  We decided to go back to the car to get some brush clippers.  We clipped for awhile – about an hour.  Finally cleaned everything up and you could see all of the tombstones.  At the end of the day we were still missing a few.  We will have to go back!

  I am going to have to ask Tony if he can help us find out if the old Dodson Schoolhouse is still on the property (photo below of fields).  I am going to have to get some of my family to go out there as well!

Dodson Line

Asa Dodson born May 28 1780 – Pittsylvania County, Virginia.  Died August 20, 1855 – Graves County, Kentucky.  He and his first wife have tombstones in the old Dodson Cemetary.  This cemetary is located in southern Graves County just north of Pryorsburg, Kentucky. 

Asa married Nancy Wolverton on September 13, 1803.  She was born February 23, 1782.  She died June 28, 1854.  She is the daughter of Andrew Wolverton.  And Susan Cawthorne.  Asa was 75 when he married Susan.  He died five months later. 

In October 1818 Asa and Nancy Dodson sold all of their land in Pulaski County, KY.  In 1819 he bought land in Maury County, TN.

  Photos from today

Dodson Road – the road that leads to the Dodson School House.


This is the land where the school is/was located.   Our family used to own this land in Graves County.


The sign for the cemetery – Christopher Beau  Dodson (Derek)



Elizabeth Dodson – December 12, 1825 – 1898


Elizabeth Dodson – December 12, 1825 – 1898


Four Dodson Tombstones lined up



George W. Martin – Died 1888




Albert Emerson Died January 1888


Emerson Grave Stone – we are unsure, at this point, of who the Emerson’s are.  They are buried in front of
the Dodson’s.  David is working on that subject.


Irwin E. Emerson Born July 28, 1878 and Died February 2, 1907


Emerson Graves


Asa Dodson – 1780-1855

Asa Dodson – May 28, 1780 – August 20, 1855


Nancy Wolverton 1782-1850


Nancy Wolverton


Thomas Dodson – 1812-1892





May 30, 2008: Life is getting busy!

  Well, never a dull moment.  That is for sure.  We went to visit the farm this morning.  We took Tyler with us (my nephew).  David and I spent an hour or so digging out an old "clothes line" pole.  My mother wanted it saved (before they start to excavate.  So we dug it out.  It was my grandmothers.  I think it was about 4 feet deep into the ground.  It took a bit of work.  🙂  We got it though!

  We then marked off the Oak Tree to make sure the excavators stay away from it.  Otherwise they are going to start clearing out the old dead trees and brush.  The current plan is to behin on Monday.  We are supposed to meet them up there bright and early.  We shall see!

  We then headed back to Mayfield.  Everyone had to take showers.  I found six ticks on me – one of them bit me.  The other ones were just crawling.  I have never seen so many ticks.  Just horrible this year.  Even when I lived on the farm I don’t recall there being this many.  Have to watch those critters.  I would imagine that I have picked about 20 of them off of me over the past few weeks.  Three bites.  I try to catch them early – and spray with the "anti" bug spray.  Doesn’t seem to always work.

  We went to an auction these evening.  Tried to buy some apartments.  They went too high though and we walked away.  Maybe next time.

  Looks like some severe weather in the coming days.  A bit iffy at this point – will keep watching the situation.  There is a risk on both Friday and Saturday. 



May 29, 2008: More Information On My Great Uncle Robert Dodson…

  David found this for me…


  Way toooooo cool!


Some comments from that thread…

"SSgt Robert A. Dodson was originally from Kentucky, where he finished high school and one year at Murray State College,.  He was working in Chicago, IL, until he enlisted at Jefferson Barracks, MO on 8 Sep 1941. He trained as a weather observer and went overseas on 6 Apr 44, returned to the US on 21 July 45 and was discharged on 22 Sep 45 at Camp Atterbury, IN. He was hospitalized for jump related injuries for 39 days from sometime in July – Aug 44. The record says sprained knee. We haven’t found anything else, so far on when he went to weather school, joined the 21 Wx Sq, etc., but will let you know if anything turns up.

The 21 WS history for 1945 shows he was awarded a Bronze Star for his D-Day service; we have requested a copy of the official order to verify it. His other decorations are listed as the Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign medal with 4 bronze service stars for the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns, American Defense Service Medal, Purple Heart, and Distinguished Unit Citation.  While it not listed on his discharge, he would have also rated the WW II Victory Medal.

From what we do have, it doesn’t appear he went to any parachute qualification course, just a one day orientation prior to jumping on 5/6 June 44. It would be interesting to find out if he was awarded jump wings with the bronze star denoting a combat jump.


more on link above…

 Apparently Robert also appears on several television shows (The Weather Channel recreation of the events) and books.  We are trying to recover some of that information.



May 28, 2008: Check it out!

Wow – my Great Uncle is a war hero AND a WEATHERMAN!!!


 Staff Sergeant Robert A. Dodson enlisted in the Army in August 1941 and trained as a weather observer at New Orleans Army Bomber Base in September 1941.  In April 1944, Sergeant Dodson was assigned to the 21st Weather Squadron in Ascot, England and a month later he volunteered jump school training.  As his paperwork was being processed, the jump school was shut down in preparation for "D-Day".  Undaunted, Sergeant Dodson and his commanding officer convinced the 82nd Airborne Division, located at Manchester, England, to make room for one more soldier.  Sergeant Dodson became a member of an Air Support Party from Ninth Air Force attached to Headquarters, 82nd Airborne Division, which consisted of an Officer in Charge, five communications men who acted as forward air controllers, a driver, and a weather observer, equipped with a half-track and a "veep" (radio equipped jeep).   Sergeant Dodson received a minimum of mock-up training before making his first and only jump.

At 0230hrs on 6 June 1944, Sergeant Dodson jumped with Force "A" of the 82nd Airborne Division commanded by Brigadier General James M. Gavin.  The sky was moonlit and practically clear when he landed about a mile northeast of St. Mere Eglise, France in a field where cattle were grazing.  One other man had landed in the same field with him and the two of them set out at once toward the head of the stick, in spite of a knee injury Sergeant Dodson sustained during the jump.  As they proceeded they picked up eight other members of their outfit one at a time.  Things were progressing according to schedule and they had yet to make contact with the enemy.  They found three injured men along the way, gave them first aid, and continued on.  Along the way they recovered their equipment which they unpacked, selected a VHF radio, and camouflaged the rest of the equipment in a hedgerow before finally linking up with the command post which had relocated to St. Mere Eglise.

The Germans counterattacked, and during thirty-six hours all members of the Air Support Party acted as riflemen.  When the siege was lifted, Sergeant Dodson began his weather observing duties.  Each hour he sent by radio the present weather, wind direction and speed, visibility, ceiling and cloud heights, temperature, and dew point.  For the last elements he was equipped with a shielded psychrometer and psychometric tables, while all other elements were determined visually.  This work continued until 21 June, when Sergeant Dodson was evacuated to the hospital at Bouteville for treatment on the knee he injured during the jump.  He later returned to his unit, which returned to England when it was relieved on 13 July.  Sergeant Dodson, who made his first trip to France during the war with a parachute as a weather observer with the 82nd Airborne Division, returned to France with the headquarters of Ninth Air Force and the 21st Weather Squadron, serving out the rest of the war as chief dispatcher at the motor pool.  He left the service in September 1945.  
    Sergeant  Dodson’s military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal,  Purple Heart, Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign medal with 4 bronze service stars (for the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns), American Defense Service Medal, and Distinguished Unit Citation.  The Air Weather Service recognized Sergeant Dodson’s World War II service in July 1987 by naming its Specialized Support Award in his honor. 


My Great Uncle Bob


May 28, 2008 – The Dodson Award – My Great Uncle Is A War Hero :)

  I discovered, this past weekend, that my Great Uncle is a war hero!  So much so that the military has an award named after him!!!  I am so proud!  He parachuted into Normandy to set up weather instruments.  There was also a special on The Weather Channel that featured him in a recreation of that day.  NOW I know where I must have gotten my love for weather!!!! Dodson Award (Outstanding Airman). This award honors Staff Sergeant Robert A.
Dodson who on 6 June 1944, after parachuting behind German lines at Normandy, set up an
observing site to supplement the weather database for the Allied D-Day invasion forces. This
award recognizes individual leadership and excellence by an Airman performing duty in an Air
Force weather unit that conducts Aerospace Weather Operations.

 More information her





May 27, 2008: Memorial Day Get Together…

  Daddy, mother, and myself went up to Massac County on Sunday for a family get-together.  It ended up that it was moved to Kentucky!  So we made our way back down the interstate and into the Benton area.  We all had a great time.  My Aunt Jeno was there – it has been a long time since she has seen me.  I was a little kid to be exact!  It was nice that she was able to see my mother again.  She has talked about it and mother has talked about it for YEARS.  So now they were able to get back together.  They talked for a long time.  I think she had a great time.  My dad had a nice time as well – everyone caught up on the latest stories.

  I had fun.  It was nice to learn a few "war" stories from some of my family members.  Still looking into my Great Uncle Robert Dodson.  Apparently he was involved with meteorology when he was in the armed services.  Will have to find out a bit more!

My dad and Uncle Larry

Nancy (my dad’s sister – Aunt Jeno and my mother

May 27, 2008: Stormy day…

  It has been raining on and off all day.  Several very heavy thunderstorms in Massac County.  We went up to the farm today to do some measurements.  POURED on us on the way and then once we left.  It was fun to watch the thunderstorms to the south.  We sat up there for awhile.  It was peaceful.  🙂



May 26, 2008: The wisdom of being unwise…

  When we are a child there are so many things that we don’t realize.  We have not received our "wisdom" that comes with growing older.  I have learned over the years that there are some things we are just not supposed to learn until "later".  Moments will come, in our life, when we learn something about ourselves or someone else.  In that moment we have a realization that "oh THAT is why that happened" or "OHHHH now I understand why my mother used to do that" – or "that is why my teachers taught me that". 

  We usually receive these "moments of realization" in the most uneventful times.  They usually occur while talking with a family member, learning about something from your past or your families past, with the appreciation of receiving something once lost.  Perhaps a truth, a story lost, or a new understanding.

  I have had a lot of those moments over the last few years.  Perhaps I am becoming a "little" more wise as I grow a little bit older.  Now I understand why people say to others that  "he or she is wise beyond their years".  I don’t think I was ever wise beyond my years….sometimes I wish I was!  I look back on moments in my life and say "well, I wish I would have figured that out a long time ago".

  There is wisdom in being unwise, however.  If we know too much too soon then there is not a learning process involved.  We learn from experience.  Experience brings wisdom.  Knowing everything up front would simply make us a computer – programmed to know how to respond to certain situations.  We would have never felt or experienced the emotions of a situation or circumstance.  Thus we would never fully experience the human element.   That which makes us real. 

  Wisdom comes from experience and experience comes from being inexperienced until the day you learn something new.  Then you gain both wisdom and experience.  🙂  You can not have one without the other.  It is a process for our human minds – it is a process for those around us.  A learning process of sorts.

  One thing I have learned over the past few years is that there are truely very few things that are "important" in life.  We could probably all count them together…


  I can’t think of anything else right now?  Can you?   Okay, perhaps being happy.  I would say that is important.  Happiness is so umm what is the word?  Elusive in a slippery kind of way.  Happiness tends to be something abstract.  Something that is not tangible.  A "feeling" perhaps?  Is it a state of being?  I don’t know.  I have recently found happiness on the farm.  Is that the right word?  For everyone following this blog you will know that I have extremely excited about moving to the farm.  There is a peace that comes over me when I stand on that hill and look over the horizons in all directions.  I can’t explain it – some things in life can’t be explained.  Nor should be explained.  They just are.

  I have come to realize more and more that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you.  What matters is what you think, what your family thinks, and what your friends think.  I say it is important – it is important only in the sense that you care about your friends and they care about you.  Everyone will always have an opinion – one way or another.  We don’t all have to agree on everything. 

  Am I rambling in this post?  I just wanted to say that I have learned more and more that family and friends should be the center of everything in your life.  Nothing else matters.  Okay, things "matter".  It MATTERS that you pay your light bill, make a good grade on the mid-term, feed the dog (family in herself), wash your hair and brush your teeth.  Yes, these things do matter.  BUT what REALLY matters is that someone tells you "I love you before you go to bed" – "calls you to tell you that your favorite show is on teleivision (just in case you are online and missing it), sings you happy birthday once a year, text messages you the words "hugs" from time to time when they enter your mind, emails you a photo that you think might inspire them, and I could go on, but you get the point.

  At the end of the day very few things really matter in life.  Family and friends – each other.  That is what matters.

  So this whole rant was simply to say "life is short – enjoy what you have – follow your dreams and pursue that which makes you happy".  Everything else comes second.


May 24, 2008: Arrowhead Show…

  So we headed off, with David (David is visiting from Canada), to Elizabethtown, Kentucky.  There was an arrowhead show this weekend.  Joey collects arrowheads.  It was a large show – prob more than a 100 tables – full of arrowheads!  I think we all had a nice time.  It was actually my first show.  I know they have them in Massac County, Illinois as well.  I will have to watch the Metropolis Planet for the next show.

  I did homework on the way to the show.  Kept me busy!

  Here are some photos from the day.




Joey at the show – looking at arrowheads


Joey at the archaeological show in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.


Then, after the show, we drove several hours back to Kentucky Lake.  We decided to go see the Elk and Buffalo. 


Unfortunately, this is about all we saw during the "Elk and Buffalo" hunt.




May 23, 2008: Daisy…


May 21, 2008: Daisy Found A Friend

  So Daisy found a friend tonight…her little ducky 🙂


Lucy eat your heart out 🙂


May 20, 2008: Flashback to winter…Waterloo, Ontario Winter ’08

🙂  Working on some of my photographs from last winter.  🙂  I am ready for snow!!!!



Waterloo Winter Sunset







Waterloo, Canada


Huntsville, Ontario – Canada – Winter ’08


 GERMANY (Below)












Waterloo – 2007

May 17, 2008: Hillary and Mayfield…

Hillary is coming to Mayfield on Sunday.  Tony is in charge of the technical "stuff".  He ummm sent me these photos – see if you can find Tony 🙂


May 16, 2008: CLOSING DAY – THE HOMEPLACE IS OURS!!!!!!!!!!!

  We closed on the farm this morning at 10 AM!  Afterwards we went back to the Massac County Courthouse to see if we could figure out the history on the farm.  It ends up that the farm was first bought in 1888 – we had to move out in 1988 – now we get it back in 2008!  Oddly enough we paid the same price as they paid in 1888 – in today’s dollars!

  Thank you to Tim, from Murphysboro, and Tony Crouch for working so dilligently on the realtor front.  From start to finish it was December 25th – May 16th.


  My birthday cake


CLOSING ON THE FARM TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


At the courthouse in Metropolis.  We found the original purchase date – 1888.






May 16, 2008: Closing Day…

  Well, it is 7:30 AM and today we close on the farm.  Not before I make myself some waffles though.  🙂



May 14, 2008: Closing On The Farm!

  Well, it is finally over!  We close on the farm at 10 AM on Friday.  We have had the farm under contract for awhile now – just needed to sign the final paperwork.  Everything will be finished on Friday.  We will start excavating in a week or so.  We met with Pela Windows today and a builder.  We have a lot of decisions to make. 




May 13, 2008: Cloudy day…

  Well, a few showers today and a rumble of thunder.  Severe weather has stayed to our north and west/southwest.  Still a chance of thunderstorms tonight and on into Thursday.

  We are going to meet with Pella Windows tomorrow.  Not sure I spelled that correctly.  🙂  Then we are going to talk to one of the builders.  Trying to make a plan.  Slowly but surely! 

  Tony sent me this photo 🙂 earlier today…

Danielle and Tony – May 13th 2008


Sunset photo that I took while I was in Waterloo, Ontario earlier this year.

Waterloo, Ontario – Winter ’08 – Beau Dodson Photo


Beau Dodson Photo

MAy 13, 2008: Busy…Busy

  So life suddenly became a litttttle bit busier.  🙂  No surprise there.  We have been working on house plans, dealing with severe weather, then there was Mother’s Day, Birthday, school has started (again), and helping mother with her house plans.  So a little bit of this and a little bit of that – adds up to busy.  At least busier!

  All good though.  We are still waiting for the final closure on the farm.  Seems like these things take forever. 

  David is coming to visit next Sunday.  It has been awhile since he has been down for a visit.  We are looking forward to seeing him again.

  Nice weather today – beautiful actually.  It appears some showers and thunderstorms will move into the region tomorrow and continue on and off through the weekend.  I am not expecting any severe weather.  At least not at this time. 

  Terrible tornado outbreak over the weekend – as most people already know.  Thankfully our area escaped the most severe weather.

  Hmmm I wonder if Sue has sold her place yet?  🙂  I am going to have to check out her blog.

  Oh and HI KRISTY 🙂


May 9, 2008: Post-Birthday :)

  Well, yesterday was my birthday.  I forget how old I am now.  I guess that happens as you get ummm older!  🙂  I went out to eat with my mother last night, along with Dione and Tommy.  Mariah wasn’t feeling well.  We went to a new restaurant in Paducah – Renaissance.  They had great food and a nice environment.  I will definitely be going back.

  We sold a house yesterday!  Closed.  Done deal!  So that is good news.  Now if we could sell Ashcreek!!!!

  My friend David sent me some nice flowers.  The whole apartment smells nice now!

  No new news on the progress at the farm.  Just waiting on some final paperwork from the bank.  Everything is finished though and it belongs to us.  Just need to get the documents.  We will start the excavating process within a week or two.

  So it was a good birthday!  Selling that house was important because we are taking that money and using it to build mothers house.  So everything is working out nicely.

  The severe weather has missed our region – the last couple of rounds.  We could see some more threats on Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.  It looks particularly bad to our south.  I am afraid that Arkansas might get hit hard.  Not good news for that area.  They have had several major tornado outbreaks over the last few weeks/months.

  Gas is nearing or above 3.60 in Paducah.  OUCH.



May 8, 2008: Humanitarian Crisis…

  A humanitarian crisis of epic proportions is developing in Burma.  The Government of Burma is doing its best to keep the world out while its people die.  There are estimates that the death toll will grow to over 100,000 people.  We may never know what the true toll was from this storm.  Regardless of what the numbers are one thing is for sure – this typhoon has caused great destruction and loss of life.



From the BBC

From BBC



"Relief groups struggled to get aid to Myanmar as one U.S. diplomat warned that the death toll from the cyclone may reach more than 100,000. Officials say that nearly 2,000 square miles of the Asian country is still underwater. Last Friday’s cyclone was the worst disaster the country had suffered in years"




  CNN is reporting that they fear 100,000+ have been killed by the typhoon in Burma. 

  How you can help – http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/impact/



May 4, 2008: Dylan had his prom last night…

  Being the proud uncle that I am 🙂



Thank you Jena for sending me these photos.


May 3, 2008: Birthday outbreak?

  Models are indicated the chance for severe thunderstorms on May 8th.  GFS and EC are rough looking – low pressure moves from Oklahoma into Missouri and eventually Illinois.  This would put our region under the gun for strong to severe storms.  Long way off.

  Mother, Tony, and myself went up to the farm today.  It appears that we will be able to get county water.   This is good news.  Dealing with a well is no fun.  We also discussed removing trees and debris from the area.  We should be able to start on this next weekend or the week after.  That is the plan at least.  Everything is moving along nicely.

  Going to the movies tonight with Deena and Tony.


May 2, 2008: Extremely busy day…Tornado Outbreak

  A major outbreak of tornadoes stuck the Mississippi Valley today.  More than 50 tornadoes have been reported.  Seven people have been killed.  Dozens injured.  The hardest hit areas were Kansas City, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  Numerous deaths were reported in Arkansas.

  Storm chasers and spotters reported multiple large tornadoes this afternoon across the above mentioned areas.

  Our region was spared the severe damage seen to our south.  I had hail twice here in Mayfield and very high winds.  The largest hail was the size of nickels. 

  It has definitely been a long day.

  We are going up to the farm tomorrow.