December 2008 Newsletter

By , May 8, 2011

D-OGS Newsletter – December 2008

News & Articles of interest to Durham-Orange Genealogists


D-OGS Annual Birthday Party Meeting – Note the change of time: 6:30 PM

The next general meeting of the Durham-Orange Genealogical Society (D-OGS) will be held on Wednesday evening, 3 December 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at the Golden Corral NC#55, south of the corner of 54 and 55. Address: 5006 NC Highway 55, Durham, NC 27713, (919) 544-2275 Map: There is a Senior Discount for those 60+.

Please RSVP if you are planning on attending: . We need to give the restaurant an approximate count. When you arrive, pay for your meal and proceed to the right to their meeting/party room. This is a good time to bring your spouse so that you can introduce them to all those people that you have mentioned during the last year – yes, we plan on having name tags.

We will also have our Birthday Quiz once again. Please send your questions (and answers) to Carol Boggs: Cathy Elias has been gathering prizes as she and Rob have toured the country genealogically this year.

The D-OGS Computer Interest Group Meeting will meet on Saturday morning, 13 December 2008 at 9 a.m. at the Chapel Hill Library downstairs in the small downstairs conference room. The meeting program is “It Was a Great Year – Positively Electrifying – and Digitizing”.

The economy has undergone some upheaval in recent months that may have an effect on genealogy in general and on individual researchers. Maybe that big trip to visit all the cemeteries in the region of your ancestors’ homes is not as realistic as it appeared to be when you first planned it, but perhaps technology can step in and lend a hand. Did you put that fancy new digital camera on hold for a bit and now you’re looking for a way to work with images that you acquire from other sources? Where are they, and what are the copyright issues involved in using them? On the other hand, is now the time for you to stay home like a bear in hibernation and put the whole pile of material into print? What do you need to accomplish this now that it’s not as simple as merely sharpening your pencil. What about those POD sites?

Changes happen in genealogy almost as fast as in technology and sometimes we need a hand in keeping track of them and sorting out the things that will help us the most. Tell us what you have found most useful in 2008 and how you used it to advance your genealogy. Let’s nominate the most useful innovation for the year. Think websites, mega-subscription sites, cruises, camera equipment, file storage facilities, software, what have you.

Because new websites pop up every day, we can’t possibly each know about all of them, so send me some URLs for sites that have caught your attention recently and we will visit them and discuss them. (This goes for distant D-OGS as well, we need your input for the CIG to be a success, and you always benefit from what others bring to the CIG each time you read the summary of the meetings on the members-only page.)

As usual there will be an article to share, and several new sites I’ve come across. If you have made a CD to share as a result of our discussing the topic please bring it along and let us take a look at it. Please bear in mind , what makes the CIG worthwhile is your participation! Let’s keep the show on the road.


The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM.

We had five guests attending.

Tonight’s speaker was C. Michael Poole, Vice President of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Cremation, Durham, NC His program was entitled “Funeral Homes and Their Records for Genealogists.”

Mr. Poole said he was a Durham native and that in high school he knew he wanted to be in the funeral business and he apprenticed with Mr. Hudson and that Hall-Wynne hired him 46 years ago.

He said he will help locate graves with or without markers. He has two long metal rods with wooden handles (similar to divining rods). He says they will find anything buried and will indicate the length and width of a grave.

He said people don’t always remember where their family is buried and he’s called upon on a regular basis to help people find family graves. He also said he’s walked a lot of property looking for graves that don’t exist. Michael said many people are told family stores about Indians being buried on family ground and he has walked the piece of land and not found any burials.

He gave a brief history of the funeral homes in Durham and where, when and how they’d started. For instance, J. S. Hall and George V. Wynne established Hall-Wynne & Co. in downtown Durham with the funeral business on one side on the block and a livery service on the back side.

Because they have continually been in business they have their record books. He pulled out a book from 1905 with a total bill for the funeral of $6.50. Their records also showed that they rented a horse and buggy to a well known reverend for $1.50 each weekend so he could ride his circuit.

A book for 1926 showed a funeral on August 5 that cost $160. He turned to 1938 and found a funeral for $29 with burial at Pine Hill Cemetery. This later became Woodlawn Memorial Park. Maplewood Cemetery was started about 1860.

He said their records are on computer from 1980s until now but he can help researchers track down relatives if they have some information to go by. Not every funeral home can do this because records have been destroyed and when some of them went out of business their records were lost. The information is sketchy in the early books. No one was recording parents’ names, etc.

He showed us the half page forms they used from the 1960s to 1992. Now the form they have to fill out is 8 ½ x 11 and four pages. Funeral homes are required to file the death certificates and Social Security. He said it used to be that they had to do this in person but now are able to do it via computer.

Michael explained that funeral homes are licensed for the public health to deodorize and make the body healthy and safe to be around and fix it up to look better than it did in death.

He told us stories about transporting bodies to other states and countries and said a Burial Transit Report is required to cross state lines.

When asked, he said embalming caught on during the Civil War as it enabled sons and fathers to be returned to their loved ones for burial.

Questions were asked about “green burials” and then the program ended with rousing applause for a fascinating program presented by someone with boundless enthusiasm for his subject.

The minutes for the October 2008 meeting were approved as printed in the newsletter.

Richard reported that there was a Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library book sale at the Chapel Hill Public Library this weekend. Bill Reid spoke up and said there was also one at the Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough.

Paul brought up the annual Birthday Party meeting on December 3 at the Golden Corral, NC #55, south of the corner of 54 and 55 at 6 PM. After some discussion, it was decided to change the time to 6:30 PM. Their website is Paul reports that there is a Senior Discount for those admitting to being over 60!

Report of the Nominating Committee: Rob Elias said Paul will remain as the President but not the Program Vice President; Ann Hamby has agreed to remain as Treasurer, as has yours truly as Secretary. Rob said he would like to see a team of 3 or 4 to take over programming—that way each person would only have to arrange 2 or 3 programs.

In the face of Duke Homestead charging us $100 per meeting, if we had one or two in Chapel Hill or elsewhere in Orange County, it would help defray the cost.

The dues increase was discussed and passed on motion to be an extra $5 in 2009 and another $5 in 2010 making it $25 for a single membership by 2010. This will help with the increased cost of printing and mailing The Trading Path and the monthly newsletter, as well as the Duke Homestead rental fee. (there was no discussion on the new fee structure for multi-year membership)

Ann Hamby gave the treasurer’s report of $2352.65 as of October 31, 2008.

Paul located a very appropriate form for the reverse of the Meeting Agenda —, “Funeral Home Employee Interview Notes” form. He reported that this page also includes forms for “Cemetery Employee Interview Notes”, “Online Research Log, U. S. Research Checklist”, “Timeline and Family History Center Look Up” — all in PDF format.

Respectfully submitted,

Tonya Fouse Krout



I am disturbed (and I hope you are, also) that we have not been able to recruit a vice-president/program chair for the year 2009. We are still depending on a very few dedicated members to handle all the work of our society. This gets to be a lot of work that our membership is putting on these few for the benefit of us all. We all need to contribute to our society. We are all volunteers and therefore all need to share the responsibilities of helping out with the leadership of our group.


Some of our members, including Margo Brewer, Melanie Crain and Mary-jo Hall, have volunteered to conduct workshops for the Town of Carrboro Recreation & Parks department. Melanie will be talking about DNA & genealogy, Mary-jo will be talking about research & project management and Margo will be talking about “how to get started” and finding reference materials. These workshops will be held in February and March 2009. Additional details will be provided when they are finalized if you might be interested in registering.


Nicholas Graham, librarian with the Carolina Digital Library and Archives, made a presentation on the North Carolina Maps Project ( at the UNC-Chapel Hill Scholarly Communication Working Group’s November meeting. The map digitization project is a collaborative of the UNC University Library, North Carolina State Archives, and the Outer Banks History Center. Over 700 historic maps are in the collection, including many of the earliest maps of North Carolina, a large selection of soil survey and coast survey maps, and detailed maps from each of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Mr. Graham will be speaking to D-OGS as the program presenter for February 2009. He will be sharing the “behind-the-scene” approach the staff used for this project.


(By Matthew E. Milliken –

DURHAM — A small group of Rougemont residents is working to bring Durham County’s last remaining historic train station back to life.

While the remnants of the roughly 70-year-old structure will no longer serve passengers or freight traveling between Durham and Lynchburg, Va., the facility will be reunited, repaired and restored.

“It has a lot of history in Rougemont,” said Joe Haenn, a state educational consultant and toy train repairman. “It was the way that people used to get into town. It’s the way they got a lot of their goods….

“I imagine some of the newer people in town never really knew that was a train station, or aren’t quite sure of it. But for the old-timers, it really has a lot of significance.”

Haenn, 64, leads the group that plans to move the station’s existing two parts to Rougemont Village. This shopping center is a short distance on Red Mountain Road from the two spots where the waiting and ticketing area and the freight area now stand.

The station’s missing central office portion is thought to have been demolished in the 1960s when Rougemont’s last station master divided the structure for personal use. It will be rebuilt and the original sections refurbished.

The station is not just a historical artifact for Rougemont, an unincorporated 1,000-person community. It’s the only survivor from what used to be a network of 20 or more stations served by five railroads that plied Durham County at various times over the golden age of trains.

When finished in mid-2011, part of the building will house a town and train history museum. Plans for the remaining space are pending, but Haenn hopes the station will be a drawing card for Rougemont.

The $50,000 project would not be coming together without community collaboration. John Anderson, the hamlet’s last station master, is donating the freight portion; Mark O’Neal, the real estate agent who once used the waiting and ticketing portion of the building as an office, is donating that part; and Don Mason, a local developer, is donating a place for the restored train depot to stand.

John Mininger has never been involved in anything like this restoration.

“It’s a challenge to do something for the community and to enhance the Rougemont community, and I think that’s a good thing,” the 65-year-old insurance administrator said. “Rougemont has some potential and I’d like to see that enhanced.”

While the entire station was relatively small at roughly 20 by 60 feet, the preservation effort is proving fairly complex. Still, Mininger is confident that with residents volunteering labor and other help, the station will eventually be made whole again.

“I think it’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten — to be able to keep the unique character of the northern part of the county and not just let it be eclipsed entirely by the city of Durham,” he said.

(This article originally appeared in the 17 November 2008 issue of the Durham Herald-Sun. It is reprinted here with their permission)


(The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at )

Many of the death records for the state of Tennessee are available online. Registrations of births and deaths began in 1908 in Tennessee. The Tennessee State Archives and Library web site has created an index that covers nearly 98,000 deaths occurring in Tennessee and recorded between 1908 and 1912. Although deaths were not registered as carefully and regularly as they were beginning in 1914, the index includes all extant records.

The index includes the name of the deceased, county, year of death and certificate number. This information can be used to order a copy of the death certificate from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. If no year of death was given on the certificate, it is noted in this index as “1908-12″. Children with no given name are listed under “infant”.

Death records in this time period do not give parents’ names. They do include the individual’s age, occupation, place of birth and cause of death. The Tennessee death records for 1908-1912 are at Death records for 1913 were not recorded in Tennessee.

Tennessee deaths from 1914 to 1926 are available at the state government’s web site at The site states, “The Statewide Index to Tennessee Death Records, now in its beginning stages, is a long-term project to index Tennessee death records for the years 1914 on.”

The index lists name of deceased, county of death, and volume and page number of the certificate. When ordering a death record from this index, please include this information. This information should be used when ordering the full death record.

Finally, the Memphis Public Library History and Genealogy Index Web site at contains the Memphis/Shelby County Death Index (1848-1945). This index to identifiable deaths recorded within Memphis and Shelby County was created from the Memphis Death Register Books beginning in 1848; Memphis Burial Permits, 1902-1913; and Memphis/Shelby County Death Certificate Card Index, 1914-1945. Entries include the name, date of death, age, gender, and race of the deceased, as well the source record. This index also includes people who died in Memphis but were buried elsewhere and those whose bodies were brought back from another location for burial. In addition, there is a list of licenses granted to ship bodies through Memphis.

This same database also contains the Yellow Fever Deaths Index (1878), listing all identified Memphians who died in the 1878 Yellow Fever Epidemic. Entries include the death date, full name, race and address.


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Grady Hunter will take his prize-winning entry in the N.C. State Fair to the grave. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that Hunter won a blue ribbon in this year’s crafts and hobbies competition by making his own coffin.

‘I’m tickled to death with it,” Hunter told the newspaper.

Hunter, 75, wanted to improve on store-bought caskets, so he installed three inches of foam at the thinnest point, rising to 12 inches at the head to place his body on an incline. The case has hard-rock maple and Brazilian cherry. He also routed his signature into the wood.

On the inside of the lid, Hunter plans to pin pictures of his son, daughter and grandchildren, so he can take those with him. Hunter has even lined up pallbearers for his funeral, and he’s writing his own eulogy.

(Information from: The News & Observer,


The family networking and genealogy site MyHeritage and genetic genealogy company FamilyTreeDNA just announced a partnership that promises DNA testing discounts for you.

The arrangement continues the trend of merging social networking, genealogy and DNA, on sites such as Genetree, and Familybuilder.

The FamilyTreeDNA-MyHeritage offer includes these discounted DNA tests:

• 25-marker Y-DNA: $129 (FamilyTreeDNA doesn’t usually offer a 25-marker test, but its 12-marker test costs $149)

• mtDNAPlus, which tests mitochondrial DNA and estimates Native American and African ancestry: $129 (this beats FamilyTreeDNA’s regular price of $189)

• mtDNA and 25-marker Y-DNA: $219 (compare to the regular price of $229 for an mtDNA and 12-marker Y-DNA combo)

The offer page says the specials are for MyHeritage users, though it doesn’t look like you’re required to prove you’re a member of MyHeritage.

You can read more about these and other genetic genealogy companies in previous Genealogy Insider blog posts of Family Tree Magazine. The DNA toolkit on offers advice on choosing the right test for your research questions.


According to an article in the current Family Tree Magazine, the subscription site (a Canadian records-focused sister site to and FamilySearch are partnering to digitize and index’s Canadian census records.

They’ll be available to subscribers in 2009, and the indexes will be free to the public on the FamilySearch Web site. The images will be free at FamilySearch Family History Centers.

Canadian national censuses were taken every 10 years starting in 1871; earlier censuses cover various areas of Canada. Under the agreement, FamilySearch will provide with images and indexes for 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1916 censuses. will provide FamilySearch with indexes for the 1891 and 1901 censuses.

This partnership should ease Canadian roots research a bit. Only the 1901, 1906 and 1911 censuses, as well as part of an 1851 census, are indexed by name. To find your ancestor in other censuses, you need to know his or her district and subdistrict—which could change between censuses.

The Web site Automated Genealogy is coordinating a volunteer indexing project for the 1901, 1906 and 1911 censuses; search the growing database free. If you find an ancestor’s name and district information, look for him listed in the free census images on the Library and Archives Canada Web site.


By Christine Sievers

We have been dealing with the artifacts of death in the last articles. I promise that we will move on to happier times soon. But before we move backwards in time to document our ancestor’s life, there is one death record repository that can provide you with a possible wealth of information. Learning how to garner information from a funeral home will serve you well when researching ancestors further in the past. In eras when death certificates were not required or possibly lost to disasters and wars, these records may fill the gaps in your documentation.

First, some facts about funeral homes. Many are family owned and have been passed down for generations. The same mortuary is often used by many family members. Small towns may have only one funeral home. All of these facts aid your search for the funeral home of your ancestor.

There is a trail of clues you can follow. The name of the funeral home is often noted on the death certificate, in an obituary, on a funeral card, or in the cemetery records. For those of you unfamiliar with them, funeral cards are just that, cards that are passed out at funerals to family and friends that contain a small amount of information on and a tribute to the deceased. They are usually ordered from the funeral home. Again, ask family members if they have one of these mementoes. Death certificates, obituaries and cemeteries, I covered in previous articles. You will need to have some information on your ancestor’s death before approaching a funeral home.

If you keep coming up short on information about your ancestor’s death, there are still clues that can be followed. Has your family used the same funeral home many times? If they have, and it is a home that has been in the same hands for years, they may be familiar with your family. This is also true in a small town, where funeral information between homes would be more known.

When you have narrowed your search, or have pinpointed the exact location, how you approach the funeral home will be important. They are private businesses that are not required to give you any information. The best way to make contact is with a polite letter explaining what you are looking for. A letter allows them to look for the record when they have time. So, they are apt to be more friendly toward your request, than if they had felt pressured by your unexpected appearance. Offer to pay for any time or copying expenses incurred. Ask if the records have been microfilmed by the local library or historical society, particularly older records.

Mortuaries vary greatly in the amount and retention of the information that they have. Older records may not have recorded much information, or they may have. Some have organized systems, others not. The more recent the death, the more information will be on the record, and the more easily accessible the record will be.

It is a source worth getting. You will never know what surprise information you will find. It may contain copies of other records, such as birth, military, or marriage. It will give clues to the life of your ancestor- who arranged his burial, was a funeral service given in a church, how much was spent, etc. As with all information given by a second source (most will have been provided by whoever is arranging the funeral), be aware of possible errors.

When searching for out of town mortuaries will help you locate an address. It is an index to funeral homes in the United States. For further help, you can post a request for information at Roots-L, a genealogy mailing list database. Click on the state that you are searching. There, you can search and post.

I wish you the best of luck in finding this often underused, but fascinating source.

(I thought this article would be appropriate in light of last month’s program. Christine is a short story and non-fiction writer who lives in Santa Barbara, CA. Since her writing does not keep the roof over my head, she also works as a fundraiser.)


War Deaths Wounded Forces

Revolutionary (1775-83)* 4,435 6,188 200,000

War of 1812 (1812-1815) 2,200 4,505 286,730

Mexican (1846-48) 13,283 4,152 78,718

Civil War (1861-65) Union 364,511 281,881 2,213,363

Civil War (1861-65) Confederate* 133,821 105,000 1,500,000

Spanish-American (1898) 2,446 1,662 306,760

World War I (1917-18) 116,708 204,002 4,743,826

World War II (1941-45) 407,316 670,846 16,353,659

Korean War (1950-52) 54,246 103,284 5,764,143

Vietnam (1961-73) 45,933 303,616 543,500

TOTALS 1,144,950 1,685,136 31,990,699

*Figures for the Revolutionary War and the Confederate side of the Civil War are primarily estimates and still the subject of historical controversy.

(Many thanks to D-OGS member Charlotte Hyer for providing these haunting statistics)


Step – used in conjunction with a degree of kinship.

Stepchild – child of one of the spouses by a former marriage who has not been adopted by the step-parent.

Stepfather – husband of a child’s mother by a later marriage.

Stepmother – wife of a child’s father by a later marriage.

surg. (abbreviation) – surgeon

Surname – last name, family name.


Map of the land grant survey done by William Churton for John Wade showing the trading path coming through Orange County about 1751-1761

Map of the land grant survey done by William Churton for John Wade showing the trading path coming through Orange County about 1751-1761



Reprint Company Publishers has several old NC county books back in print. Some of them are:

• Allen, W. C.: The Annals of Haywood County, North Carolina. Historical, sociological, Biographical, and Genealogical (1935)

• Griffin, Clarence W: History of Old Tryon and Rutherford Counties, North Carolina 1730-1936 (1937)

• Patton, Sadie S.: Sketches of Polk County History (1950)

• Patton, Sadie S.: The Story of Henderson County (1947)

• Sondley, Foster A.: A History of Buncombe County, North Carolina, 2 vols. (1930)

You can contact them at 864-579-4433 or by writing to P.O. Box 5401, 611 Perrin Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29304


One of our own D-OGS members, Bebe Johns Fox, has just published a new remembrance book entitled Vignettes of Old Orange County, NC Volume 1. Based on the title, it should be safe to assume that more volumes will follow. This first volume is available for purchase online in soft cover for $37.95 or hard cover for $50.95 or $53.95. Check out the new book at Blurb:


SALT LAKE CITY RESEARCH TRIP WITH MARGO BREWER – If you haven’t been to the Ann-MarTrips website ( lately, you will find a new participant category — Limited Assistance. This category was designed for those who want some assistance available, but already have their own research plan.

You are also reminded that the Full Assistance deadline for the April 2009 trip is fast approaching. This is also the deadline for choosing the installment payment option. Over the next few months some new updates are in the works for the website so be sure to check back often.

TRADING PATH ASSOCIATION PRESENTATION – Tom Magnuson will talk to the General Davie Chapter, DAR, at the Hill House, 700 S Duke St, Durham, NC. The talk will be about the old trails of the southeast and will also touch on trails and sites related one way or another with General Davie. The meeting will last from 11:00am – 1:00pm. Contact Fran Ferrell ( or 919-972-9034) for details.

DUKE HOMESTEAD EVENT – December 5 & 12 – Christmas by Candlelight. Celebrate an 1870 Christmas during evening tours of the Homestead. The tour features period decorations, caroling, hot apple cider and other goodies. 7-9 p.m.

HISTORIC STAGVILLE’S ANNUAL HOLIDAY EVENT – Stagville will be holding its annual event on 6 December from 10am until 4pm. It will be free and open to the public but donations will be gratefully accepted. Check the website at

BENNETT PLACE EVENT – December 13 & 14 – Christmas in the Carolinas during the Civil War. Visit Bennett Place during the holiday season and witness how Christmas was celebrated in the Piedmont Carolinas. The farm will be decorated in a typical Christmas fashion. Music, caroling, and refreshments. Donations gratefully accepted. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

ALAMANCE BATTLEGROUND EVENT – December 14 – Christmas Open House. Sample light refreshments and engage in a traditional, seasonal activity. 1-5 p.m.

NGS RESEARCH TRIPS TO SALT LAKE CITY – The National Genealogical Society offers a research trip later this winter on 25 January-1 February 2009. The details about the trip are below and are available on the NGS website:

If you have not been to the Family History Library before, this is an opportunity to do a week of intense family research. On the November trip, two experienced certified genealogists, Sandra Clunies and Shirley Wilcox, will help acquaint you with the resources available at the library and provide consultation about your specific research goals. A second research trip will be available 25 January-1 February 2009 with Shirley Wilcox, CG, and Marie Melchiori, CG, CGL, as your research hosts.

If you are an experienced genealogist who has visited the Family History Library before, here is an opportunity for you to consult with our leaders and perhaps take a fresh look at one of your brick walls. Several social events provide an opportunity for camaraderie with other family history researchers.

You can register for the Salt Lake City Research Trip at Pricing and trip details are available on the website. Sign up early because space is limited to 30 participants. Shirley Wilcox and Marie Melchiori will be your research hosts.

IRISH GENEALOGY CRUISE – Genealogy cruises seem to be popping up all over the place, and for very good reasons: they are great fun, educational, and reasonably priced for the most part. The Irish Ancestral Research Association, a non-profit genealogy society often referred to as TIARA, is now organizing an Irish genealogy cruise to be held about a year from now. The time to start planning this vacation is right now. The Irish Genealogy Cruise will feature leading presenters from the U.S. and Ireland. All the presenters are experienced speakers at national genealogical conferences.

The presenters will include:

Valerie Adams, from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast

Mary Ellen Grogan, TIARA, Boston

George Handran, Boston (expert on Griffith’s Valuation)

Michael J. Leclerc, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston

Gregory O’Connor, from the National Archives of Ireland, Dublin

Eileen and Sean O’Duill, from Dublin

The cruise will feature two simultaneous tracks. Track 1 will have lectures on basic resources and techniques for Irish research. Track 2 will focus on more advanced topics and is intended for those with experience in using Irish records.

The Irish Genealogy Cruise will depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 10, 2009. Attendees will spend eight nights in the eastern Caribbean, on board the Independence of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship, and then return to Fort Lauderdale on January 18, 2009.

You do not have to be a TIARA member to join the cruise. The first thirty registrants will receive a one-hour private consultation with one of the professional genealogists who are presenters.

For more information, keep an eye on the TIARA web site at and click on “Trips,” or go to the direct URL of

The dates for the 4th annual RootDig research trip to Salt Lake City have been announced: 14-21 May 2009. More information on our trip and registering is on our website at:


He who has no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family was begot by a flash of lightning.

-Old English proverb


Always remember those who serve . . .

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. ‘How much is an ice cream sundae?’ he asked.

‘Fifty cents,’ replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

‘Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?’ he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

‘Thirty-five cents,’ she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

‘I’ll have the plain ice cream,’ he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies.

You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

If you have any items of interest that you would like to submit for future publication, please contact Richard Ellington at or 919.967.4168

D-OGS, P.O. Box 4703, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-4703

Copyright (c) 2008 D-OGS All rights reserved

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