A small cemetery on the windy plains of eastern Colorado has family significance. There’s a Robert Green, who died in 1920, when he was only three and a half years old, was my dad’s older brother. Only my dad was born in 1923, so he never met this brother.
My dad’s family lived in the nearby town of Branson; my grandmother taught school and my grandfather ran the local bank. The one-two punch of the Depression and the Dust Bowl led my grandparents away from Colorado to the northern part of the Texas Panhandle, where my grandmother still taught school and my grandfather cobbled together a living doing anything he could fine. But they left their little son in that Colorado cemetery.
Then in 1944, my grandmother’s mother, who’d come out from Pennsylvania to be near her daughter, passed away and was buried in that same windy place.
And so it was that we we to see the dead ancestors, to revisit my hazy memories of tales often told.
at the cemetery
There are a few options if, for some reason, you want to travel between Branson, Colorado, and Kenton, Oklahoma. You can take regular, paved roads. One choice would take you north through Kim, Colorado; that’s about 100 miles, and Google thinks it’ll take a couple of hours to drive it. You could also take a wide swing to the south, through Folsom, New Mexico and the Santa Rita National Grasslands before heading back to the north to Kenton. That way’s also about 100 miles, with the same travel time.
Then there’s this route, where as soon as you clear Tollgate Canyon on the Colorado-New Mexico line, a left turn will put you on a route 456. It’s 62 miles to Kenton, with a Google-estimated travel time of 2 hours. Yep. That’s the way to get to Kenton.
Union County, New Mexico
When my grandparents left Branson, during the Depression, for the hoped-for greener pastures in Texas, they left behind a son who’d died from diptheria when he was only four years old. Later on, my great-grandmother joined him in this desolate little cemetery.