As Tim Rodgers, a post-teen, was completing high school, working at a sawmill, and then enlisted in The United States Navy during the latter 1930's, a man named
Joseph Monroe was living with his wife Etta and two daughters near Star Lime Works,
Kentucky. Two more girls were born to them- one in 1937 and another during 1939. Although Joe and Etta loved their children and provided for them as best as they could, they wanted a son and were granted that wish.
Near Star Lime works on June 3, 1940, born to Joseph and Etta Monroe was a son
delivered at home by a mid-wife named Lennie O'Brian. They named their son Jack Orman
Monroe in honor of a pioneer ancestor who had come to Kentucky from Virginia in 1720. With a son, the size of that family increased from four to five.
One bit of folklore circulated among hill people was that if a child was born with a black, webbed veil over its face, that child would grow into a special being with physic powers and other special gifts. But that was in contrast to tales told by
Jack's Mother, Etta. She'd say to visitors or people she met: " I found him sitting on a stump out in the woods, or I found him one morning on the back doorsteps. Other
times, Etta would mention "the stork." All kinds of tales such as that about her children provided spice and humor for benefit of neighbors and visitors. Such talk
brought smiles to their faces, partially concealing the drudgery associated with child rearing.
But time was able to substantiate that one thing was gifted Jack- the ability to travel
in time. Something made it possible for him to do that, and this author feels that he has gained some insight into how and why time travel occurs.
Some important historical facts from those years during the 1930's and 40's are worthy of note. The United States Government and its Army Corps Of Engineers began construction of Kentucky Lock and Dam on The Tennessee River near Grand Rivers.
All people living within certain areas along that river were forced to sell what land
they owned and move.
The Monroe's farm land was among that purchased by The Tennessee Valley Authority. That's the reason Joseph Monroe and his family had changed their residence to across from Dixon Cemetary and near Eddyville Ferry.
As is now known, Tim Rodgers of Juliette, Georgia was away somewhere fighting
And Jack Monroe, a Kentuckian- the one who later managed to drive his
automobile from year 1969 into 1934 was somewhere between an an infant, toddler,
and child. He, Joseph, Etta, and four sisters lived in a house less than one mile
mile from The Cumberland River in Lyon County.
On one of those days during earlier times, news of a Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii had not reached the Monroe family on that December 7, 1941. As was
customary, the Rodgers were into an early breakfast at 6:30 A.M. Jack was in a highchair being spoon-fed by his mother as other members of that family fed themselves. Free conversation always accompanied those meals and that time in the
kitchen. And in that kitchen was an important centerpiece- a battery powered radio
receiver. Subject of daily conversations were what the Japanese and Germans were doing.
Somebody said: "I'm very much afraid that we'll get involved in the wars in Europe and Asia. Many of us may have to fight too. And we don't want it."
Tim, a sailor assigned to a battle ship, of The Pacific Fleet expected to be
relieved at 6:30 A.M. on the morning of December 7, 1941. He would then walk two
hundred yards to a mess hall, have breakfast, and then get some shuteye. But when
that time came, his relief had not come, and that was no big deal. There was no alert. His replacement had partied and could not be roused.
Manning the radar set until 7:10 A.M., Tim was given permission to: "Go get your grub and get some sleep, sailor."
Twenty minutes later, swarms of Japanese fighter-bombers were heard as they approached for an attack, and Tim Rodgers was in the mess hall on shore.
Then as is often said: "All hell broke loose!"
western Kentucky, about 1942
On the occasion of Jack Monroe's third birthday, his mother, Etta had prepared a
special lunch in celebration of that anniversary. Joe, the boys' father, had snatched a suckling pig from a sow's litter of one dozen piglets or more. And around a
rectangular table were seated Joseph Monroe's entire family- he, his wife, an only
son, and four daughters.
On a huge platter placed mid-table lay the roasted piglet with a sweet potato in
As Jack Monroe recalls to this day, that pig did not look at all appetizing. For a child, such a thing can be a disgusting memory, and it is.
Etta then announced to the family: "We are celebrating Jack's birthday. Let's allow
him have the first bite of the meat from the pig.
Then with a fork his mother Etta had provided him, Jack penetrated deep into that
roasted pigs' skin and twisted the fork as his mother had directed him. That way Jack was able to remove an edible sized portion of flesh from that piglet.
That was not the right thing to do. A squirt of hot grease came out of the slit
Jack had made though that pigs' skin. Grease hit him right square in his left eye.
And to top that off, a two-winged pig angel came from out of the opening Jack had
made in the roasted pigs skin. It flew directly in front of the child's face, looked directly into Tim's eyes. Making a cold wind with its wings, it exited into
a world somewhere by flying around Tim's head with the happiest of smiles; a jesture denoting intense joy. Then that pig disappeared.