Henry H. Ray, Dick Hull's great-grandfather, taken in Ash County, North Carolina between Blowing Rock and West Jefferson.
Ahhh, life is so good if someone don't come along and burst your pride bubble.
It all started way back when, about 1950.
I was 9 years old and my grandpa Poppy, Robert L. Ray, was 77 years old. He was my mother's father.
Occasionally, in the good ole summer time we sat on the front porch at our county line house.
If the quails were giving calls down by the road, about 100 yards away, Poppy would give a whistle of the opposite sex and soon that quail would be within 30 feet of us in our shade tree looking for its mate.
One story from his past that Poppy told, as he puffed on his pipe, was about his father, Henry Ray.
Henry Ray's family lived in Ash County, North Carolina.
Poppy also told a story about when he was a young man he would go upon a high mountain and crawl out to the edge of a large rock and throw his hat over and the wind would bring it back. It was called "Blowin' Rock." I think now it's a state park.
Anyway, Poppy said that his father, Henry Ray, fought for the North Carolina 1st Regiment during the Civil War.
One day in battle he sat down by a cedar tree to take aim at the Yanks. A mini-ball from yon side hit the ground in front of him and then hit his knee. Henry thought he was hurt bad, but really the mini-ball had just bruised his knee.
I have often thought about that Civil War story and I could just hear Henry giving that old rebel yell, "Ahhh Eeeee Iiiii" as he and his rebel soldiers charged into battle, with bullets flying and powder smoke thick as fog.
I was glad to hear about my great-grandfather Henry going into battle against them Yankees.
I was proud of him.
As it turned out later, the revels lost the way but Henry Ray won.
It so happened that as I discussed Henry ray with my son recently, he mentioned the fact that he could find his name and military record on his smart phone. In about two minutes he said he had found Henry Ray's military record.
Sure enough, Henry had fought for the 1st Regiment of North Carolina in the Civil War as a Union soldier.
I said to him, "Would you read that again?"
Heard it again. "Union soldier."
I thought, that can't be. All these years as a rebel and now Henry's a yank?
Then I stiffened up a little and says to myself, "This is just what one dumb smart phone says."
Who knows? It could have been a different Henry Ray (from the north) that shot my Henry Ray (from the south) in the knee with a mini-ball.
Just to clear things up, when I look at Henry's picture, he don't look like no Yank.
I think I'll paint a gray uniform on him and keep my rebel flag a flyin'.
Ahhhh Eeeee Iiiii -- Charge!