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My grandfather, Reverend Henry (H. I.) Cook and his wife, Amanda Jane Meadows Cook were two of the most unselfish people I have ever known. All during the depression, he continued his ministry to his churches, often without recompense because people just didn't have anything to give. Today, we have drives to get food for our food banks. Then, they had "poundings" for the preacher when the church members would bring stuff for the preacher, which might be the only pay he would receive for his services. I remember the first peanut butter I ever tasted was from a small jar my grandfather had received at a "pounding."

When I was working on my MBA at the University of Michigan, Philip G. Wernette, who had a distinguished career, retiring as the President of the University of New Mexico, having served on the Office of Price Administration during World War II, been an advisor on government finance to several South American countries and on and on, tired of retirement came to the University of Michigan and taught Government until his death a few years ago. He told us of his family and that his father would not eat a dish called "Creamed Salt Pork" after we got out of the Depression. This was the mainstay of diet for many during that era. First, you take several slices of salt pork, fry the fat out of it, stir in flour and then add milk. Cook until the gravy is thick and serve on homemade biscuits. It was actually quite tasty but not nutritionally sound.

He was a man with a deep trust in God and willing to abide by God's will. Even when he was being shot at by the man whom he had fined, he sat there calmly taking four bullets. He was Justice of the Peace filling out the unexpired term of his brother, Harrison who was murdered in the line of duty. Incidentally, Harrison's murder gave us another dubious family first. Harrison Cook was the murder victim in the case where fingerprints were first used as evidence in a United States court.

You could feel the presence of God when he was around. One of the bullet wounds he had taken in 1921, caused an infection around the bullet and his death in 1934. His funeral was held in the school auditorium because no church was big enough. As part of the ceremony, the ministers conducting it asked for a show of hands of those whose lives he had affected. Every hand in the auditorium went up. May he rest in peace.

Musings of Henry T. Cook, Lt. Col., USMC (Ret.)