Friday, June 23, 2017

Playing Clue

For Birdie's birthday, a friend gave her the travel size game of "Clue." She loves to play it at night with Bennie and the 'rents. Of course, a parent has to help Bennie who is pretty much clueless {pun not intended}, but she enjoys participating and Fuzzy loves running in circles around the coffee table and making quite a mess of things. Husband and I lose patience with Fuzzy but try to be active participants in the game without cheating. Ya know, like looking at those cards the kids have flipped up or the ones they show us when they are asking questions about Colonel Mustard and if his favorite condiment is ketchup.

It's not, we have decided. He likes honey mustard.

In addition to playing Clue, I have been listening to Unsolved Murders, a podcast about, well.... unsolved murders. Let's combine this podcast and Clue playing with my research loving historically inclined self.

A few days ago I was digging through the archives of the hometown newspaper. This is one of my favorite pastimes and I enjoy seeing how things evolve. As I gather an understanding of people from long ago, it becomes clearer why I see their names on buildings and land parcels that they donated to the city. It's hard to be in Hometown and not hear the meaningless names of the Waltons, the Hickmans, Berckmans, Stearns, Reynolds, and the Phinizys; to realize that these were people. These were families- boys and girls who became men and women and had children of their own.

Many of these prominent families remain within the city limits five generations later.

I digress.

So, a few days ago- I was digging through the archives looking for.... something... I can't remember now. And, BOY- did I get sidetracked. We were watching TV and I told Husband, "Be right back, I just need to print this off..." an hour and a half later, Husband comes around the corner, "Ya mad at me?"

NO! Why?

You've been in here... for a while.

I look up and realize that, yes.... yes I have.

Y'all. I am down the deep end of Turbo Nerd. There was a murder in 1910 and I am fascinated about it. 

It's getting to be an obsession and kinda embarrassing. My friend, Katie, asks me all the time-- How do you have time to research a, ahem, murder from 1910?"

I give the kids iPads and close the door, duh.

Kidding. It's nap time and I adore nap time.

As I have a lull in my home record research, I continue to fall down the rabbit hole, looking for clues in the newspapers and wondering where I can garner more information about this case? this story? this murder? this.... whatever this is, because- to me... this is fascinating.

Heads up, spoiler alert: early in my research, I don't think he did it.

"Who did WHAT?" you're probably asking.

Before I say that, I need to disclaimer something: Negro is not a word in my repertoire. There are other words out there that I don't say that start with "N" and I put both of these words in the same derogatory category that should go the way of spoken Latin- seen and known, but not said. They are just... mean. I say that to say this: I am going to tell the story of Dr. Hickman as I learn it and am going to share quotes from the archives. There are many words used back in 1910 that people in polite society don't say today, thankyaJesus.

Disclaimer aside:

I don't think the {negro} [sic] killed the prominent and illustrious Dr. Charles W. Hickman as he walked down the sidewalk of Sand Hills/Summerville back in February 1910.

PSHEW. I said it. Who knows, maybe I'll eat my words and learn that my initial reaction was wrong and the man did kill Dr. Hickman. We shall see.

The header that caught my attention:

DR. CHARLES W. HICKMAN MUDERED AND ROBBED IN SUMMERVILLE LAST NIGHT

One of the Most Prominent Physicians and Most Beloved of Augustans Victim of Bullet of Ambushed Assassin.

It kinda grips you, right? Who is this guy? What makes him so prominent? Clearly, this is who Hickman Park is named after.

Truth Moment: The park is older than the man. Mental note: find out more about Hickman Park when I finish this.

see that "est. c. 1859"... that means it was established 51 years before Dr. Hickman died


The names that occur in the story are family members of kids I grew up with. The locations are places I went and played at or in when we were kids. Maybe that is part of why it is a story I found and I find interesting. Hang tight with this history nerd for a few more blogs. If it gets boring [to me], I'll stop.

Give me insight and places to dig!

Put a pin in this. Got some kids starting to wake up.

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