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McMullan Family History Trip - 2003

1. A Little Background 5. Newton, Mississippi, McMullan Cousins and Cemeteries
2. Heading Out 6. On Through Alabama to Georgia for More McMullan Family and History
3. Texas and My Great Grandfather, William Rufus McMullan 7. Through South and North Carolina and Tennessee and on to Arkansas
4. Leaving Texas and Our Trip to Bourbon Street in New Orleans 8. Interstate 40 Through Oklahoma, to Texas and Home

Interstate 40 Through Oklahoma, to Texas and Home

After topping off the gas tank the next morning, I was back on the road heading west. I reached the Oklahoma state line at 10am. The wind was blowing hard right out of the west. My truck doesn’t get very good gas mileage and when you add a strong head wind, it barely gets any gas mileage at all! I finally settled back to about 65 miles per hour rather than the posted 75. It was a lot easier on my nerves instead of having to fight the wind. Just out of Oklahoma City, I stopped and ate a late lunch at a Luby’s cafeteria. I had not eaten at one of those since before I moved to Salt Lake City in 1993. Shortly after that, I was back on the road. My father’s sister, Zuma (McMullan) Sutton lives in Erick, Oklahoma. I called her to let her know that I would be there at about 5pm. Her cousin, Verdee Lee York, was there but had to leave before I could get there. When my grandfather was orphaned, he lived with Verdee Lee’s father and mother. Annie was my grandfather’s sister but was much older than him. I really wanted to visit with Verdee Lee but driving as hard as I could, I just couldn’t be there before she had to leave.

As I exited the Interstate in Erick, Oklahoma, I drove right by Zuma’s house and saw that there were no other cars there so I drove out to the city cemetery. It had been a long time since I had been there and it took me a few minutes to find my brother’s and grandparent’s graves. I marked all the grave’s locations with the GPS so I can walk right to them next time. My brother, David Bruce McMullan, died at the age of twenty one in 1978 from cancer. He is buried very close to my grandparents Hubert Newton and Martha Ann "Nettie" (Hughes) McMullan. I looked at some of the other graves and then drove back to Zuma’s house. Zuma was the firstborn of my grandparents and she was just a few months old when my grandparents moved to New Mexico to homestead. Zuma (born Sept. 6, 1920) is ten years older than my father (born May 21, 1930). She will be 83 years old this year and my father will be 73 years old. Monday was a good time to see Zuma because the next day she had to have some medical tests run in Elk City, Oklahoma. While I was there that night, Gail Sutton, my first cousin’s wife came into town from her farm to see us. Zuma and her husband, Howard Sutton, had two sons. Billy David (Billy Mack) and Frankie Lee Sutton. Billy Mack passed away in November 2001. He was quite a few years older than me but I always thought a lot of him and Gail. They had three children, Dwana, Twila and Sonny. Sonny is running the farm now which is just north of Erick in the Mayfield, Oklahoma area. I had a great visit with Zuma and Gail that evening. I told Zuma about my trip and what I had found out about the McMullan family’s history.

When I awoke the next morning, Gail had already picked Zuma up and they were on their way to Elk City, Oklahoma for the medical tests. I stopped at Howard and Inez Fuchs' farm and house near Sweetwater, Oklahoma. Inez is my mother’s sister. When I was young I was very close to their daughter Debbie, my cousin. I always enjoyed when we would go out to their farm to visit. After I visited there I drove up to Spearman, Texas to visit with my father. I had noticed how from about Sayre, Oklahoma eastward, the country was beautifully green and west of Sayre, the country began to be more brown. The area where I grew up in the Texas panhandle used to be considered a large desert. The dust bowl photographs that were made in the 1930's and ‘40's were mostly taken within a short distance of where I grew up in Spearman, Texas. With the advent of irrigation, much of that desert was tamed and the crops and livestock that have been grown there have fed the world. I shared the details of my trip with my father and had a good time visiting with him that night.

The next morning, before leaving, I stopped by Max and Carolyn Taylor’s house in Spearman. I consider Carolyn to be my spiritual mother. We have been very close for a number of years and share a lot of spiritual ideals. Leaving Spearman, I drove to Dalhart, Texas and then crossed into New Mexico. At Raton, I took Interstate 25 north to Denver. Normally on this trip, I drive all the way through Colorado and up to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Then I go west across Wyoming and into Utah. This time, because the westerly wind was so strong, I turned west at Denver. This would take me west on Interstate 70 and out of much of the brutal wind.

I spent the night in Georgetown, Colorado. The next morning I got back on the road and got into a raging snowstorm on Vail Pass at over 11,000 feet in elevation. I was about to think I should have just braved the wind through Wyoming when I drove out of the snow. I saw the highest gasoline prices on my trip in Vail. Regular unleaded gasoline was $1.86 per gallon. The least expensive was in Hartwell, Georgia at $1.23 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

I arrived home at 6:30pm on Thursday May1, 2003. I had driven 5,220 miles in just over 93 hours of actual driving time. My GPS told me that my average driving speed was 54.9 miles per hour and my fastest speed on the trip was 88.7 miles per hour. I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to all of the fine people I met on my trip. It turned out to be better than I had ever hoped for.

All Information, Photographs, Images, etc., are © 2003 to Present by Jay S. McMullan - All Rights Reserved