As the oldest living member of our family, I guess the nieces and nephews have come to think of me as the patriarch of the family. I am the only family member left of the Cook family who is old enough to remember my grandfather, Reverend Henry Ingraham ( H. I.) Cook. We have pretty well exhausted the genealogy end of it and several of my nieces and nephews and their children and my two sisters spent a day on two different years climbing the mountains in search of the graveyard where our great grandfather was buried. We finally found what we were looking for at Burton's Cemetery, near Piedmont, West Virginia. My hopes in life are that the schools start spending more time on American history and start teaching the Constitution of the United States again and the reason we have it, the suffering that many went through to get us where we are today and remember the blood, sweat and tears that went into the formation of this great country based on the Judo-Christian ethic. It is not "politically correct" these days to manifest the beliefs held by our ancestors in God, Country and Flag.
Recently one of my nephews contacted me and asked me to tell all I could think of about their great grandparents. Since I was in the second grade when grandfather, Rev. H. I. died I have to give them what little I can remember of this extraordinary man. He has been dead for over sixty five years but I have his old roll top desk, which I spent two weeks restoring to as close a semblance of it was when he bought it. I also have two of the mule eared chairs, with the rungs deeply worn from hooking his heels over them. I managed to find some Tonkin cane and rewove the seats, with many blisters from weaving the wet cane.
Often when I am troubled, I will sit at that desk in one of the chairs and feel his presence through my fond memories of him, say a little prayer and ask myself, "How would granddad have handled this?"
My first memory of him, and I was very young, was coming to visit him. He was sitting at the desk, eating an apple. He picked me up sat me on the desk and took out his pocket knife and started scraping it until he had scraped enough to give me a bite. It could best be described as "fresh applesauce". No grandchild has ever loved a grandfather more than I loved that man.
These musings may seem trivial, but that is all I can give those who asked, little snippets of fond remembrances.
Musings of Henry T. Cook, Lt. Col., USMC (Ret.)