Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yeah, I know, a headstone isn't the most cheerful of images to start a post. But this one is a personal highlight in that we finally found it.

It goes like this: This is a photo of the headstone for my greatgrandfather and greatgrandmother. When they died, they were buried here, the family plot, although it was originally that of Jonathan Young. Anyway, that piece of the old place still belongs to the family, and most of the family call it Aunt May's place, who was my great aunt. Me, with my far greater knowledge of family history (oooh, yeaah) call it the Young place, where Aunt May ended up. Her grandson, my second cousin, John, ended up with the key to the gate at the foot of the road (if you can call it a road. To me it looks like a cattle path) and although we asked nicely (he lives in our town), he was oddly reluctant to part with the key. We also told him that Aunt Nina wanted to see the cemetary, as she had never been there, it takes 4-wheel drive to get there, that and a lot of swearing. I pointed out that Aunt Nina is in her 80s and the sooner done the better, but he said "HE would take her", which I knew would never happen. Still no go, and finally it dawned on us that this guy is a prison guard at the local prison, and I think the cop mentality prohibits them from handing over the key to anything. We appealed to his mother, who pointed out we were hardly going to carry off a family relic, and he reluctantly handed it over. His whole rationale was this lame story about "kids" tearing up the road with 4 wheelers, etc., which had to sound lame even to him. When he gave it to N, he had to promise to not copy the key. Anyway, we went to the home of our uncle, who likewise wanted to go, and when he heard about the key, he said he wanted to take a look at it, and with our tacit permission, he disappeared for 20 minutes or so, then returned with the key. Such a farango for access to a graveyard in the middle of nowhere! ANyway, I photoed all the stones, and made a verbal tape of the headstones, and my only regret is that at that time we didn't have a GPS to take readings of the spot.

In the end, I turned over the list of grave readings to the local and state archives, and if I want to, I can go again for the coordinates.

Oh yeah, when N returned the key to John, John actually asked if N had copied the key, to which N answered, quite truthfully, no. And Aunt Nina was tickled pink, and she died two years later and is buried next to my parents.

In a better graveyard.

Bumper sticker: "Protect the Earth. We don't have a spare."


makuahine said...

What state are you in? Depending on the state, he cannot keep you from the cemetery especially if you have family there. Here in Missouri as long as you are visiting a cemetery for valid reasons (ie not vandalism) then you have a right to be there, even if it's landlocked. And if the owner of the property around the cemetery refuses to let you cross or take you across, you talk to the sheriff and he is supposed to escort you personally. I would find out the laws for your area!

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anto66 said...

I agree with makuahine, I think that you should check out your local laws.