Channeling a Man i Never Knew

The photo in this post is not of my grandfather, Hiram Culley Jewell but of my great grandfather, Hiram Carpenter “Buddy” Jewell. He has a pretty remarkable story of his own (later). But i just had to include the photo where he is mentioned.

i am not into mysticism, spirits, and all of that kind of stuff.

i don’t disclaim it exists and occasionally am struck by some extraordinary story about the supernatural. But i’m inclined to believe that kinda stuff wasn’t intended for me.

Still thanks to a very wonderful counselor who helps me when i need it, i have found meditation a source of strength. So after my disclaimers, i’m really sorta open to that kind of stuff.

And then yesterday out in the third garage stall designated at the get go and remaining my workspace, maybe even more like my escape place, i channeled him. Or perhaps he channeled me. i’m not sure which.

But it happened. Even though i never knew him.

You see, this channeling stuff happened with my grandfather. He died in ’39. Tuberculosis. Right after my folks got married.

This channeling thing occurred while i was doing a chore put off too long. Hiram Culley Jewell didn’t talk to me. It was more of an internal thing. i felt him. Down deep inside me. My heart? My soul? Can’t really say. But for me, he was there.

i had burned off the old grease on our cast iron cookware and was taking them down to bare metal when we channeled. It reminded me of one of my parents last winter trip out here. My father was 86 and had limited time to drive his wife and himself out here in the fifth wheel with his Ford 150. He and i (with me mostly watching) took the cast iron skillets and pots down to bare metal in a way that would strike fear into the world of gourmet cooks. We, or rather he was using a propane torch to burn off the residual grease buildup.

As i looked over his shoulder and he blasted away at the skillet sitting on my workbench, we talked.

We always talked, mostly i listened and he told stories. My father was a great story teller later in life. His older sister, a elegant woman in appearance, was one of the best story tellers ever. i have always wondered if they got that from my grandfather. You see, i once thought i would be a great writer, follow in the tradition of William Faulkner and Robert Penn Warren. i no longer think that. i’m not disciplined enough and one of the worst editors in existence. But i do think i’m a good story teller.

But Daddy only told me a half dozen stories about my grandfather. Those were never what he thought about his father. They were stories nearly always funny. He and my aunt seemed to always be laughing when they told a story. But he just didn’t talk about my grandfather very much. He never said how he felt toward his father although i sensed he loved him. It was blatantly obvious my father had the greatest respect for Hiram Culley Jewell.

Hiram Carpenter “Buddy” Jewell, my great grandfather, 1844-1886.

Culley was a working man by fate. His father, Hiram T. “Buddy” Jewell died when Culley was ten. Culley and his brother Barbee were raised by different uncles, Newton and Thomas. i believe this is correct but am not sure which brother was raised by which uncle. However, my mother told me the uncle who raised Barbee believed in education and guided Barbee and his own children into college. The uncle who raised Culley didn’t believe in education. He believed in work.

Culley worked all of his life.

My father did tell me of his father having a work shed at their home at the beginning of West Spring Street. As we were working on the cast iron, he also mentioned Mama Jewell cleaned their cast iron by throwing it in the fire they always had burning in their backyard. They would pull the skillet or pot out after several hours and the vessel would be “clean as a whistle.” Then Mama Jewell would cure it on the wood burning stove in the kitchen.

Perhaps that was the connection that produced my sensation of channeling.

i was working. Granted my grandfather’s work was on a grander scale most of the time. Same for my father. But i was working.

Sometimes i think i was supposed to be a worker. Like my grandfather and father. But i wandered off that track. My mother told me after they took me to Vanderbilt for my freshman year, my father cried on the way home because he was so proud to have a child going to college. i wonder how the working man, Hiram Culley Jewell, my grandfather, thought of that.

Of course, it was different times, a world apart.

But while i was bent over that skillet in the bright sun of the Southwest corner, i could feel him, not my father Jimmy, but Culley looking approvingly at me working.

That was yesterday. i worked on things around the home the rest of the day. Last night, i ate dinner and sat in my family room chair watching sports just like my father did in his den on Castle Heights Avenue after a day of work. i kept thinking of that feeling of my grandfather being with me during the day, the workday.

i slept well.

1 thought on “Channeling a Man i Never Knew

  1. Whenever I come across a random dime I know Mom is near (going on 40 years now) With Dad an old song and I’m immediately transported in a cloud dancing, at random stages in my life, with him. It’s a warmth from deep within. Magical 💕

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