The Birthday Present Day of

    Mr. Reeves gave Bucky several leads on local Streetts he could visit to investigate family lore, including Joey Streett and his mother who lived just up the road. Joey had the furniture that had been taken out of the House when it and the farmland were sold. Bucky was a bit bemused about Jim’s seeming insistence that the legends should be gathered. Jim had grown up hearing stories about the Streetts, and wanted them collected.
    “Not just the stuff that’s been published,” he said. “Have you ever heard about the hanging tree?”
    “No, that doesn’t sound familiar. Maybe that’s a job for some local historians,” said Bucky.
    “But it’s your family,” said Jim. Bucky agreed, but noted that he had a lot of family lore still to investigate.
    “Have you been to John Streett’s grave?” said Mr. Reeves. “I think that’s at Holy Cross Church.”
    “That sounds familiar,” said Bucky. “But, no, we’ve never been there. Did I read his remains were moved there from somewhere else?”
    “Maybe,” said Jim. “You should go to Holy Cross Church. You’ll see a lot of your family’s graves there.” He told the friends how to get to the church, which was at an intersection with Holy Cross Church Road, his address. They began to say their goodbyes and move to the door to go in search of the grave site. As they stood outside for a few minutes, Jim told them a bit about the old barn, the brick carriage shed, and the little brick structure he identified as slave quarters.
    “That’s where I found the old gravestone, when I dug out the floor.”
    “Where is the gravestone now?” said Susan.
    “It’s out by the barn somewhere,” said Mr. Reeves. “I’ve loaned it to all our friends for spook houses or decoration at Hallowe’en. That gravestone’s been all over the county. You know, you should go visit Joey and get those stories. Get him to tell you about the slave that ravished the young woman and cut off her head, and about the hanging tree. They have all kinds of weird stories like that.”
    “Oh, well,” said Loie, “Bucky’s family has some wild tales, too. Like the one about the knife.”
    “Yes,” said Bucky, “The bone handled carving set. That was an heirloom from Great-grandmother Streett’s farm in Hickory.”
    “Well, you could get a lot of old tales from Joey,” said Mr. Reeves.
    “I’ve read that there were probably formal gardens out front,” said Bucky. “Are those stone steps part of that?” He was gesturing toward some small garden steps in the hill that rose in back of the house.
    “I moved them from in front,” said Jim. “The stone is stuff I took out of the old foundation when we took off the back addition. These old bricks in this patio and the walkway were part of that foundation.” Mr. Reeves then told them the hill in back of the house had originally been terraced, and had a cricket lawn and a tennis court on it in the past.
    “My grandfather knocked all the terrace walls down with a bulldozer,” he said. “He wanted pasture for cattle. But this whole place was just overgrown, it was a mess around the house. They had to put barbed wire around the house for a while before the trees and brush got cleaned out.” Everyone was shaking their heads, amazed at how much work had been done, and glad Colonel John Streett’s house had been made a lovely home again. Now they said their goodbyes, thanking Mr. Reeves for treating them to such an enjoyable and informative visit.
    Unfortunately, the friends were never invited to tour the old part of the house. But as Loie said when they were back in their car, “It’s not the house, or not the inside, it’s just having really found it after all this time.” Bucky agreed.
    Susan and Franklin headed home, assuring Loie and Bucky they knew their way. The Lovebunnies continued on, intent on finding the grave site and maybe the Third Addition.
    “Here, have a last look,” said Bucky as he drove slowly up the hill on Holy Cross Road. They were passing the east end of the House, and looking out past it over the beautiful, pastoral rolling valley of Deer Creek.
    “You know,” said Loie as they drove along, “I think I’m waking up again.”
    “OK, good,” said Bucky. “Your lunch is going down.” It took only a few minutes to reach an intersection, and see a church just up the road to the north.
    “Does the sign say ‘Holy Cross’?” Bucky said. “I can’t quite read it.”
    “It looks like it has the right number of letters, or words,” said Loie. “Let’s just go look.” They turned up the road and pulled into the drive in front of what was indeed Holy Cross Episcopal Church. Several cars were in the parking lot, and one of the young men standing by the cars came to the Lovebunnies’ car door, saying, “We’re just stopping here looking for the waterfall.”
    “OK,” said Bucky, “We’re looking for old family grave sites.” Bucky was amused, thinking the caravaners were worried Loie and Bucky were church officials of some sort, come to check on people parked in the lot. As Bucky got out of their car, the young man asked them if they knew where the waterfall was.
    “I think it’s in the rocks park,” he said.
    “Well,” said Bucky, “Rocks State Park is around here somewhere, but I don’t think there’s a waterfall there.”
    “Oh yeah,” said the young man, “It’s as tall as this church.”
    “You can look up the park in our map book,” said Bucky. “Go to the park and ask at the Ranger station.”
    “I’ve got a navigator,” said the young man, showing Bucky a little handheld computer machine. “But could we borrow your book?” Of course Bucky loaned the car caravaners the Harford County ADC book, and he told Loie she could begin looking at the graves if she wanted to.
    “OK,” said Loie, “I’ll get a start.” She walked back toward the old cemetery while Bucky waited for the milling waterfall searchers to finish their research.
    “Hey, we found it,” the young man said, handing Bucky the map book. “It’s up north of here. Thanks for letting us use your book.”
    “OK, good,” said Bucky. “Have a good time at the waterfall.” The caravaners were piling back in their cars and taking off up the road. They all waved to Bucky as they pulled away.
    “So much for GPS,” said Bucky to himself as he walked to join Loie, although to be fair, the young people might have found the waterfall’s location on their machine. As soon as he stood beside her, Loie said, “I found it.” Indeed she had. She was standing before a tall, plain gray stone carved with Colonel John Streett’s name and dates.

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