Beating the Bushes
Or "Rednecks, Phone Books and High School Football Programs"
I wanna tell Yall about one of the things I do that drives my sweet blonde right up the wall. Everytime we go on vacation or on a trip, the first thing I do when we check into the motel, even before I steal the ashtrays, is grab the phone book. I carefully go through it, looking for surnames. I have always considered this creative research, she says I am compulsive.
For years I had no real good answer for her because I had never come across the surnames I was looking for. I would search the phone books and she would just sit over there and giggle. I would go through the football programs everytime our little town had a road game and she would roll her eyes and giggle. I am not sure, but I think she put up with my little compulsion because she figured it was harmless and it only took me a minute or two.
Last summer, on our extended vacation to Florida, like always, I would go through the phone books in every small town we stopped in. In a small town near Mobile, Alabama, we stopped for dinner at one of those old-fashioned Greasy Spoons. You know the ones I mean, the cook is always named Cookie and the waitress is named Flora Bell or Norma Jean.
As we were waiting for our Chicken Fried Steaks, and after sneaking over to the phone booth "borrowing" the phone book, I started my routine. Let's see No Traywicks (Sigh), No Lunsfords (Sigh), No Dodsons (Sigh), and of course No Hocutts, Wait, there it is, Five separate listings for Hocutts. My blonde was so shocked she didn't even object when I pulled out the cell phone and started dialing. I ended up with six pages of notes on a branch of the family that had escaped my widely thrown net.
The moral of this, never overlook any opportunity to do genealogy. Check those phone books, look at those High School Football programs and look at any source that lists lots of names. Sometimes you get lucky.
-Adios and Keep Smiling!