Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dead People

The Complete and Total Loser spent a part of today, one of his days off, going to the cemetery where his father's side of the family is buried. It's a half hour from where he lives but not near any location the Loser or anyone else in his family would ever need to go, so visits are infrequent. The Loser's father took the Loser and his brother there a few times when they were kids and they'd run around and play on the stones and be fascinated by the old style outhouse, which is no longer in existence, of course. 
It was rural then and even now, despite being just an hour from a major city and having shopping centers with electronics stores and fitness centers, there are still corn fields along the highway. 
The Loser went with his father a few times in recent years. He'd bring a rake and weeding device with him, even though the cemetery is little used or seen; the most recent interment date the Loser could find today is 1974. Clearly, the Loser's father liked being out of his usual realm and tending to his ancestors' graves. The Loser went today to see how big the stone was, though he already knew. He and his brothers plan to put their dead parents' names on it and save room for their own.
The Loser's great grandfather is the celebrity of his father's side of the family. A captain in the Civil War, he's the closest thing to a war hero they have. 
This is his death notice below. It's in bad shape, but newspapers were meant to last just a few days, so if you can read a 105-year-old one at all, you're in luck. They should have laminated it, but plastic didn't exist then. 
The Loser's favorite part of his great grandfather's death notice, which was published on September 15, 1908, is "Carriages will be in waiting" for those disembarking from the train at the town where he was buried. It sounds so genteel. Incidentally, if you read this and notice that it says "7.21 o'clock," that will sound strange because for several decades everyone has just used o'clock at the top of the hour if they use it at all. O'clock is a shortened form of "of the clock," or "on the clock," though, so it's not incorrect, just old fashioned.

No comments:

Post a Comment