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Friday, June 23, 2017

Cemeteries

I do like to explore cemeteries.  Every year I bicycle from our condo to the South Haven Cemetery, an expansive and historic place east of town.  There is a large and separate Jewish enclave with dates in chronology dating from the creation of the world and little piles of memorial stones placed on the grave sites.  There is another large military section marked with US flags with some graves labeled GAR, the Grand Army of the Republic, and a statue commemorating the Civil War dead.

A very large oak tree that has probably been there since graves were first dug stands next to a tree stump tombstone symbolizing a life cut short.  The wife of Uzziah Conger, a name of an early South Haven settler, was buried at age 20 in the mid 1800s and next to her is buried a woman from the same family who lived from 1852 to 1953.

I looked and looked for a marker I know I saw once that said "He was finer than a frog's hair split four ways."  I cannot find it again.  But I could not have made up a phrase like that! Apparently it is an old Southern saying.   I've written to the South Haven Historical Association and maybe someone can satisfy my curiousity on that one!  (update--Section 7 on the hill--Tom Tinsley, 1940-1969)

 When we visit with groups of friends our age as we have done a couple of times in the last weeks, I wonder who will leave each circle first.  What will the next ten years bring in our lives?  That may be morbid but it is realistic.

 But it is not because I am morbid that I enjoy walking through cemeteries.  I think it is the lovely peacefulness of the grounds and the sense of local history memorialized there.

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