This is actually a true story. All of my stories are true and most not even exaggerated. This happened during my last trip to West Wemyss, in January I think. I am having lunch in the Pantry Kitchen in West Wemyss, great food, hospitable people. Of course, with my big mouth, I tell everyone in the restaurant why I am there and what I am doing. Next door to the restaurant is the Heritage Center so they bring me all sorts of treasures, including a book that mentions two Dryburgh brothers that got a medal from a king. Heady stuff. Then someone runs into the restaurant to say that Jock Dryburgh is in the Heritage Center and I better go see him before he leaves. I abandon my lunch and head next door to meet my namesake. He is 84 years old and looks pretty good. We hit it off quite famously but his volunteer hours are over and he needs to leave. This is his parting salvo “It would be a fate worse than death to be stranded on a desert island with you. If that happened to me I would just get in the water, go the sharks and say: Take me I cannot stand to be around that woman any more.” I laughed so hard I thought I would wet myself but I did not. So he was a Dryburgh and is that not a sense of humor?”
My brother Dale sends me a surprise email that says “Sis, not heard from you, Are you still in London?” I have just made plans to go to Canada, actually Vancouver where he lives. I say, “Surprise I am coming home. I bet you are real glad to hear that!” I do not hear a peep from him for days and days and days. He finally emails back. “Sorry I did not get back to you sooner but have been busy listing my house for sale (since I got the text from you that you are coming to Van)”
Then there is cousin Pat that lives in Australia. We are in a big chat about my ashes and where they will go. She suggests that Uncle Dave’s grave in Regina might be a fine resting place. I write back that Aunt Eunice’s ashes are with him and three is a crowd. She suggests: “As far as Uncle Dave & Eunice are concerned….you could always have her moved somewhere else! HAHAHAHA “( (I use this quote with permission, I always ask). I answer back: PAT YOU ARE FUNNY!! I am dying laughing about moving good old Aunt Eunice. She can’t object because, come to think of it, she is dead. I do think that might be a more fitting end to my life than this romantic great grandfather stuff. Boot Eunice and I get Uncle Dave. But where will Aunt Eunice go? Perhaps with Robert Dryburgh who is all by himself. Robert is the the infant son of George and Janet Dryburgh who died of scarlet fever and he is in a separate part of the Regina cemetery, on the outskirts, as if the dead are contagious. It is rather sad to see. So maybe he needs Aunt Eunice to keep him company. I get Uncle Dave, so there! He likes me better, I know. I laugh. Alexis”
This exchange of emails is about a month old. In the meantime I am here in West Wemyss making plans for my ashes to come here. Yesterday was a fine and overwhelming day. It began at the Kirkcaldy Art Gallery. Their permanent collection is a fine representation of Scottish art. There is an audio guide that adds to the experience, although I was the only person using the service. Then I walked to the Canterbury Flower Shop and purchased flowers for Great Grandfather Robert Baxter’s grave. I called Ryan, he picked me up and I went to West Wemyss and placed the primroses at the grave site. I spoke to a wonderful woman who was visiting the cemetery with her dog. She was visiting her daughter’s grave. Her daughter also died at the age of 24 but she took her own life. Her mother and I talked about it, how sad and pointless that had been. It was over some man. Then I went to the Pantry Kitchen, ate and watched a soccer match. I usually hate sports which makes it a little difficult to be writing a biography about a sports writer. But for some reason i got into this match and I was cheering on Scotland, booing Wales. It was almost a religious experience. Scotland won! I was so happy. Then I went to the bar staffed by volunteers who remembered me from my prior visit. I was telling the story of my experience at the cemetery and showing the pictures taken on my phone. A man said: “That was my mother and her dog and that was my sister.” My rational mind says that is not that unusual, this is after all a town of 260 people so it is not unlikely that the brother would be in the bar. . But it seemed amazing to me.
Then i found out that Jock Dryburgh is going to be working at the Heritage Center at 1400 today. That seems amazing. I will go there after church.