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America with George * Marysville, Ohio * Hometown tour

Sunday, June 22, 2014

For the next few weeks I am going to be using this space to communicate with my kids,
please excuse the change of tone and content. George is Jude's stuffed dragon.

Papa's homes growing up
George here... I am in Marysville, Ohio! This is the town where Papa grew up. I found out when I was doing some research, that Marysville's town slogan is "Where the grass is greener"... do you remember the other day when that cow was reaching his neck out of the fence and mom explained that expression to you? 

Papa's schools
It was so special being here and hearing all the funny and interesting stories about Papa's childhood. We got to see the houses where he lived, the schools he attended, the places where he had fun (and got into mischief), and lots more. You will have to ask Papa to tell you all of his stories someday. But for now... here are a few things that were particularly interesting to me.

You will never guess what Papa's first job was! When he was 10 years old he signed up to work at the Oak Dale Cemetery. They wouldn't hire him until he was a little bit older. When he was 13 years old he started raking leaves and cutting the grass and when he was 14 he got to be a grave digger! His boss was a World War II hero named Pride Thompson - isn't that a cool name? Papa showed us the creek where he got initiated - they dunked the new workers in the water as a silly way of welcoming them into the group. We met one of Papa's best friend Ron Miller (who also worked at the cemetery). He still lives in Marysville and goes by the graves to take care of Grandpa Fitzgerald, Grandpa Dodge and Grandma Dodge's gravestones. This is a funny story... when Papa was a little boy he used to steal flowers from graves and take them to his mom. He said that he didn't think the dead people would mind.

Buildings in downtown Marysville
Papa's and his best friend Ron Miller at The Oak Dale Cemetary

We learned a lot of about the family's faith history. Papa's father (Grandpa Fitzgerald) was Catholic, and when papa was young he was an altar boy at Our Lady of Lourdes. (An altar boy is someone that helps the priest during a Catholic church service.) Papa's mom (Great Gram Dodge) attended The First Presbyterian Church of Marysville. That is where mom got baptized as an infant. Jack Groat was the pastor who spoke at Grandma's service - he was also the pastor that baptized mom when she was a little bitty baby. Did you know your mom got baptized twice? You can ask her about it sometime.

Your mom had a great time in Papa's hometown! She wanted me to tell you that she misses you very much, but she is thankful for the opportunity to spend time learning more about her extended family. She will have lots more stories and pictures to share when she gets home. She loves you VERY VERY VERY much and is is so happy that you are getting to have special time with your dad.

- George
Mom, Pastor Jack Groat and The First Presbyterian Church of Marysville

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