Bloodroot: 101 Dadmations
Lewis ‘Lew’ B. Castner, my maternal grandfather was a night watchman/boilerman when he passed away at the age of 75 on March 11, 1963. Lew was an ordinary, hard-working man, neither financially wealthy nor famous. However, Lew was wealthy with friends and family, the rooms at the funeral home in Belvidere were packed with people. Lew’s funeral service provided inspiration for this book. The pastor gave a short sermon; he then asked if anyone cared to tell a tale about my grandfather. A number of people, one after another, stood up and told a story about Lew. I was eight, and wished that I had a pad and a pen to record the stories, regretting that they would be lost to memory.
The compilation of these stories, as poems, is to preserve them from being lost to memory. Bloodroot was the name of a plant displayed in my botany class at West Virginia Wesleyan College. The stem when cut resembles bleeding. In regards to genealogical bloodlines I concluded that the term Bloodroot would be a good title for this collection of mostly family stories. My daughter Beth Ann suggested the title 101 Dadmations, and the two were combined: Bloodroot: 101 Dadmations.