Friday, February 7, 2014

The Florida Trip

I haven't posted in a while, but I have done some more research in the meantime. I have to be in Florida on business regularly and one of my trips to me to the Jacksonville area for a full week so I took advantage of the time. We had heard from his relatives Doug Sr had died in Florida and through my searching I was certain of what county. So I went out to Glen St Mary, Florida in Baker County & visited the courthouse, the site of where he used to live, and where he was buried. He was born in 1936 according to his brother, but when it was recorded at his death, the reporting officer had him down as born in 1932, and his middle name was Lee, but on his death certificate & tombstone, it says his middle name is Stanley. And on the boys' birth certificates it says he was born in different states including Kentucky, but he was actually born in New Jersey. He committed suicide after being diagnosed with cancer according to one of the few people who knew him personally in Florida. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery as far out into the woods as you can get at the Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church, technically in McClenny, Florida. He lived a very solitary life (I'm guessing hiding from all the wives) and I think he wanted it that way or he wouldnt have had so many discrepancies in all the records of his life. He had lived his final years in a trailer off of Blue Bird Lane, in Baker County, which to drive down it, is not really a road, but a gravel travel through woods, and I couldnt tell where a lot might have been that he'd have had a trailer on. There were no livable homes on it & the "road" went back into the woods where it was not driveable so that was the end of my search. The plot of land and his truck were left to his mother when his brother handled the estate and the land then sold back to the original owner of the property & resold since then. (That information is just in case other children decide to start looking around and wonder what dear old dad left behind- essentially, nothing.) The next time I go to Jacksonville I know that Doug Jr will want to come with me, if for nothing else, just to get a feel for where the man that he never knew called home.