And finally

Eliza Parrish
Eliza Parrish

When we finished our lunch break, and got back on the graveyard trail, we headed for Mounds Cemetery. Mary wasn’t sure where it was located, and my small map was even less useful in locating the place. However, I  had also printed a list of graveyards in Warren County, and that spreadsheet had map coordinates, so I entered the Mounds Cemetery coordinates into my smart phones GPS, and it worked a solution for us.

Unfortunately, my phone didn’t know that the directions it gave us led to a road that was closed for construction. Well, there is more than one way to skin a cat, so we proceeded on to the next crossroad, made a turn, and let the GPS find a new way to the graveyard. A few minutes later we realized that the GPS was taking us in a circle back to the closed road. Mounds Cemetery would have to wait for another day.

Mary decided that we needed to start homeward, she had a grandchild’s ball game to attend, so we headed back to more familiar territory. Mary stopped at another graveyard, and I confess that I don’t remember which it was. We only did a drive-through. Mary stopped long enough to take a picture of a building on the grounds. I didn’t shoot it.

We made one more stop, the Montmorenci Cemetery in Tippecanoe County, where the above picture was taken. Mary told me about her interesting history with this graveyard, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy, so I won’t share it with you. I will state emphatically that it doesn’t include necrophilia.

Mary was intrigued, wondering about the meaning of the symbol at the top of this stone. It was a fairly common motif. I told her that I thought it was a better symbol than one where the finger was pointing downward. What I found more interesting was that on so many stones they included how many years, months, and days that the person had lived. Perhaps that is a shorthand way of saying that each day was important? That’s just a theory on my part.

From Montmorenci we headed home. And thus ends our marvelous adventure. I had a great day, spent with a fine friend. I hope we do it again. There are still around thirty-five more graveyards in Warren County.

I’ve uploaded most of the pictures that I took last Friday into my Flickr account. You can find them here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hoosiertourist/sets/72157644799262147/

I must admit that I haven’t used Flickr in a long time, so I’m not sure that you’ll be able to actually see the pictures. I know that I still need to title each of the pictures, and I’ll be doing that in my spare time. Hahahaha. There are also two black and white photos in that album from earlier expeditions on my own. I have plenty more graveyard pictures that I’ve taken over the years that I’ll be adding to that Flickr album.

Lunch break and advertising

Williamsport Falls
Williamsport Falls

After visiting four graveyards, Mary and I were ready for a break, so we drove to Attica to have lunch at the Hotel Attica. The hotel was built in 1853, and is located on Perry Street, which is the main drag of the downtown area. The store across the street advertises that is sells live bait and tackle. We observed one or two anglers stop by to take advantage of that offer.

Before we returned to the graveyards we ventured to Williamsport to see the tallest free-falling waterfall in Indiana. Williamsport Falls is ninety feet in height. You may not think that is very tall, and you may be right, but it is a pretty little waterfall.

After seeing the falls and taking pictures, we resumed our graveyard quest. That will be the topic of tomorrow’s post.

***

I would like to know how I got on a mailing list that was sold to companies that are attempting to sell me hearing aids. Do I look like I’m deaf? Let me rephrase that. Do I appear to be hard of hearing? Huh?

My first guess is that they got my info from AARP. Perhaps the Social Security Administration sells mailing lists. At any event, I don’t like it. Neither do I like the implication that a person my age is automatically hard of hearing, let alone susceptible to blandishments in the mail.

If it gets to a point where I can’t hear ordinary things, I’ll seek out a local audiologist. But, since most of my friends are also getting older and probably listened to a lot more loud rock and roll than I did, they will compensate for their loss of hearing by speaking louder. It is a win-win situation.

***

If you live in the U.S. you may have noticed how in so many medical drug advertisements on TV, the people are filmed moving in slow motion. There are some exceptions, but in most cases nothing happens at normal speed. I don’t understand why they film it that way. If you have any insight into this, please share it with me.

My problem with fast food

I love the arch
I love the arch

The fourth graveyard that Mary and I visited last Friday was the Bethel Chapel Cemetery. When we pulled into the graveyard, the stone with the arch immediately caught my attention. I have never seen a tombstone like that before. There were a number of other stones that caught our attention as well. Mary wanted me to use a different picture,  but this is my favorite. She can start her own blog if she wants to use a picture of that stone, or I may use it at a later date.

Oh, and Mary noticed that there was a two-seater privy for the patrons on the side of the grounds. The privy was partitioned, with separate doors, so that women and men could have their privacy. We both decided that we could wait until we arrived at the Attica Hotel for lunch before we needed to use the facilities. More about Attica tomorrow.

***

I don’t often eat fast food. Yesterday was an exception, and it brought back all of the reasons why I dislike using a drive-thru window. And there are multiple reasons.

It usually starts when you pull up behind the car ahead of you where the driver is ordering. I was lucky yesterday because there was only one occupant in that car, so there weren’t multiple orders. Still, the woman ahead of me had obviously never eaten at a Burger King before, because it took her quite some time to order. It could have been worse, I usually get stuck behind a pickup truck where the driver is ordering for an entire construction crew that is back at the work site.

When I pulled up to the speaker to order I had to wait what seemed to be an ungodly amount of time before the girl inside deigned take my order. I knew what I wanted, so I spoke clearly and slowly so that she would get it right. I might as well have rattled it off in Urdu, because I had to repeat the order twice before she understood and entered it correctly into the computer.

Then I pulled forward to pay and to get my order, but that took time because the woman who had ordered ahead of me was still waiting at the window to get her food. I believe she had made it her mission to suck the last vestiges of “fast” out of fast food. I have no idea what she ordered, but it took at least ten minutes after I pulled up before her food was handed out the window to her. I thought that was what the “reserved for pickup” area of the parking lot was for, but I must have misunderstood the intent. She was handed a small bag, about the size to hold one hamburger with nothing on it, and a small drink.

I pulled up to the window, and had the exact amount of money in my hand. I sat there for a while, waiting for the girl to open her window and accept payment. When she opened the window and took my money, she dropped the change out of her hand and onto the floor. So she had to scramble around on the floor, making sure that I had handed her the correct amount, before she opened the cash drawer and printed my receipt. She handed me my food. I didn’t pull away until I had verified that I had the right order. I’ve been through that before.

Finally I was finished with the transaction and started to pull away from the window. That’s when I was almost sideswiped by a pickup truck that was towing a trailer. We both hit the brakes at the same time. He graciously allowed me to move first.

As I was about to pull out onto the four lane street, I paused because I saw two dump trucks coming at me. They appeared to be drag racing. I let them go past before I eased out onto the street. From there the drive home was safe and uneventful.

My French fries were cold.

More about our graveyard adventure

First non-indigenous county resident to die here
First non-indigenous county resident to die here

The third graveyard that we visited on Friday was the Independence Cemetery, which is located a short distance north of Independence, Indiana. The graveyard is large enough that it has components on both sides of the road. We stayed on the west side.

Mary had a vague idea where the graveyard was located, and I had a small map of the township that helped. We found it without much trouble. I know that someday I want to go back and visit the smaller section on the east side of the road.

As the marker in the picture above states, Zachariah Cicott was the first permanent white settler in Warren County. Wikipedia tells me that he was a French-Canadian trader who set up business there. It also tells me that he was married to a Potawatomi woman. I’m pretty sure that the “Always faithful to the white people” statement is due to the fact that he became a scout for William Henry Harrison and brought him north to fight the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. I wonder how Zachariah’s wife felt about that.

The statement seems racist in these times, and should have when the plaque was put up in 1966. But this is Indiana, where the roots of  a reconstituted Klu Klux Klan run deep. But that isn’t the topic of this post.

There were plenty of other interesting things to see in this graveyard. I’ll be uploading most of my pictures to Flickr. When that is complete I’ll put a link to the album in a post.

Me and Fantasy

Davis-Kochert Cemetery
Davis-Kochert Cemetery

On Friday, Mary and I made our second stop of the day at the Davis-Kochert Cemetery, also known as just the Davis Cemetery. It was much smaller than the Armstrong Cemetery. It is located on a minor county road, and doesn’t seem to be connected to any specific church or chapel.

***

I mentioned in passing, in my post about my relationship with poetry, that I enjoy fantasy. I’ve been reading fantasy, off and on, for about as long as I can remember. The first real book that I remember owning was a book of fairy tales and poems, Golden Books Treasury of Elves and Fairies,  that was given to me by my grandmother, my dad’s mother. I still own that book, though it is in bad shape after all of these years. It was first published in 1951, but I’m not sure in what year she gave it to me.

My next venture into fantasy, outside of Mother Goose, that I recall, was the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff and how they defeated the troll. There were probably other stories that I heard or read, but that was the most memorable.

Then, when I was older, I found out about Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. I started reading the Lancer paperback editions of the Conan stories in the 1960’s. I’ll admit that I was drawn to the books by the Frank Frazetta’s covers. It’s a case of the cover art drawing me in, and the stories bringing me back. I was introduced to the Sword & Sorcery genre.

My other great love in Sword & Sorcery was Fritz Leiber’s stories about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. That’s where I learned that S&S need not all be dark and brooding.

I started reading as much S&S as I could. There was C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry, Michael Moorcock’s Elric (and other heroes) stories, and Roger Zelazney’s novel Nine Princes In Amber (and yes, the Jeff Jones cover of the paperback is what caught my eye.

In that time I was also tackling The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Here is where I admit that I tried E.R. Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros, but could not get into that story. Perhaps it is time that I tried again.

Recently I have been reading some of Glen Cook’s books. Specifically his tales of the Black Company. I bought one of the books on a whim and liked it so much that I believe I have all of the published stories so far. They are good reads. I have also been reading various King Arthur books, but for some reason they are often listed a Historical Fiction. Tell that to Merlin.

One thing I have always found in fantasy is that no matter how dark the story becomes, there is always the glimmer of hope, of light on the horizon…or maybe just over the hill. You don’t give up on the story.

 

Now you have the thumb sketch about me and fantasy.

Mary & Norm’s splendid adventure

Armstrong Cemetary
Armstrong Cemetery

My good friend Mary (she calls me bro, I call her sis) has been talking to me for quite a while about taking a day and driving around visiting graveyards. If you have followed this blog for any amount of time, you know that along with picture of barns, I love to take pictures of graveyards. Mary loves graveyards as well. So, on Friday we finally took a day and visited five or six graveyards that were established in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Most of them were in Warren County.

We had perfect weather for the visitations. It was sunny, with a light breeze, and the temperature was in the mid-seventies. Since most of our travel was on county roads rather than State highways, we were able to drive slowly and enjoy the scenic countryside.

Our first stop was Armstrong Cemetery. The graveyard was established in 1848. Like all of the places we visited, Civil War veterans are buried in the grounds. Mary and I concentrated on the gravestones of the less recent departees.

The picture above is just one small group of stones that I photographed on Friday. In all, I took around seventy pictures, and two or three short videos. I’ll be using graveyard pictures in my posts for a few days at least. There will be at least one picture from each of the graveyards that we visited.

Most of the pictures that I took were of individual stones that caught my eye. I spent a bit of time trying to decide if I should use any of those individual stone photos in my posts. Part of me felt that I might be invading the privacy of the families of the departed by publishing pictures of the stones. Then, I thought, these stones were erected in a public graveyard, and were meant to memorialize the occupants of the graves. So, I may be using pictures of individual stones in the future.

One last thing. You may wonder why we love graveyards so much. Well, I know that Mary and I agree on the fact that they are places of peace. I also feel that they are places where you can connect, in a small way, with history. The history not only of the people under the stones, but also their families and communities. It can take some imagination, but for me it is worth it. This is the point where I should plug Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology. Penn State had a PDF version of the book that you can download, and there is also a free Ebook version through Project Gutenberg. It is a great read.

#7 of 501: Sullivan’s Travels

Oooo, Veronica
Oooo, Veronica

I wasn’t sure if I should use the number 7 in the title of this post, because Cindy fell asleep in the middle of the movie. Should I then call it #6 1/2 of 501? I decided that if I did that, I would have trouble keeping track of the number as time went by…besides, I watched the entire movie. I asked Cindy if she planned on watching the end of the movie. She grumpily said maybe, but not now. I take that as a no.

Let me get this off of my chest before I delve into the movie. I never thought of Veronica Lake as being a great beauty before watching this movie. I saw her more as a sultry femme fatale, even though I can’t remember ever seeing one of her movies. But in this movie, in some scenes, when her hair was under a cap or hat, she looked downright cute. In fact, I wonder if her famous hair didn’t detract from her acting. She created an image, but I’m not sure she needed it. There, I’ve stated my feelings. I feel better now.

OK, so now the movie. I like it. Need I say more?

It was released in 1941. Without getting too deep into the plot, it involves a movie director, played by Joel McCrea, who wants to turn from making successful comedies to movies that have serious topics. I love the fact that the movie he wants to make is based on the novel O Brother, Where Art Thou. (Now I want to watch the Coen brother’s film again.) The director has no experience with poverty or a hard life, so he goes in search of it for research. Along the way he meets Veronica Lake’s character, and they go off together.

My only complaint with the movie is that some of the comedy action is so over the top that is detracts from the movie. At least it did for me. On the other hand, there are long sequences with no dialogue where the action and camera work tell the story beautifully.

I enjoyed this movie a lot.