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Lloyd Waters: A Dargan homecoming

September 02, 2012|By LLOYD WATERS

Like most small towns in America, Dargan is changing and the old ways of growing up are being replaced and many of our elders have gone on.

My grandmother Gen was always fond of visiting the Samples Manor cemetery on Memorial Day and throughout the year.

I often ride down to that peaceful resting place and admire the surrounding hills. Each season brings a new and beautiful panorama.

The cemetery is always well manicured and most pleasing to the eye. I often see people walking from tombstone to tombstone and reminiscing.

Myself, I like to do the very same thing. When I visit the final resting place of my grandfather Reno Hetzel and grandmother Gen’s gravesite, I like to think about the early days of life when things were more simple.

Mary Saylor’s nearby headstone usually provides a place for me to sit if the old legs happen to be aching. I know she doesn’t object to me resting there as she was almost 100 years old when she died.

My dad is a little farther up the hill to the left.

Those families and people who surrounded me growing up are well represented throughout the cemetery.

The Grimm(s) and Grim(s) are there. One family owned and operated the only country store in town.

The Ingrams are there. George used to take me fishing and to pick cherries as a young lad.

The Kellers and Garrotts lived in our town.

The Walters and Waters are there. My family actually came from a family of Walters. There were four brothers and one of them, Newton, decided to drop the “l” from the name. Thus, my descendants became Waters instead of Walters. One member of our family was a lieutenant in the Civil War and rode with Stonewall Jackson.

The Giffin and Johnson headstones can be found throughout the cemetery. The Glenns are there along with the McGowans, relatives of my grandmother. The Gays, Jamisons and Housers are identified by the granite stones. The Kretzers and Myers are there too. Some Martins also discovered the beauty of this place.

There are many stories I had with each of these families while alive that I could share with you. Most of them would be pretty interesting.

The Knights from two different families dot the hillside of the cemetery, and Leon, my father-in-law, actually was raised in the same house that I grew up in as a kid.

Wilymena Knight, at 90,, is the watch keeper at Dargan’s gate; Diddie Burgan; Geraldine Waters, Cathryn Staubs, Joe Hamilton, Helen Grim, Sis Grim, Virginia Giffin, and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Butts represent the remaining seniors of that original community of Dargan.

As Darrell Strite and I were conversing the other day, he thought it might be a good idea to have a Dargan Homecoming and invite all the people or remnants of families who lived in Dargan at one time to return to the community center at the old Dargan school and share a tale or two.

On Sept. 30, at 1 p.m., the community of Dargan will pause to remember those family members have gone on, and invite those extended remnants of those Dargan families who have moved away back for a homecoming.

If you have lived in Dargan or are part of a family from there, bring a covered dish and come on down and help us reminisce about those days when times were good and life was a little slower. Bring a story with you too, and enjoy the hospitality that only Dargan folks can offer.

Someone once said, “Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.” We look forward to a good homecoming, some good weather and some good fellowship. Any questions give me a call.

Looking forward to seeing you there. P.S., no moonshine will be served — wink.  

Lloyd “Pete” Waters is a Sharpsburg resident.

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