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Things I have learned - A walkthrough history

Today’s Wisdom: “Losing my homies in a hurry, they’re relocating to the cemetery.”

Tupac Shakur

By Bill D. Ward


Much like many of the readers of this column, I grew up in a small town and still live in a different small town. One gets to know a lot of people, especially all those people who get out in public a lot.


Each of those towns has a big cemetery that tends to collect most of the citizens at one time or another. I do a lot of writing and research for my local historical society so often find myself in the local cemetery on a quest. Believe it or not, I actually find those excursions enjoyable.


I don’t have any particular thing for walking among the dead, but I do find the pathway among the stones to be fascinating. Those stones read almost like a history text of the community life of a generation or two ago. There are all the businessmen, some with names still on buildings downtown. There are all the farmers who frequented the town on Friday nights and filled the cafés after a run to town for feed or parts. There are my old school teachers, and many of the church leaders and Sunday school teachers.


One almost has to resist the temptation to stop and say hello. I know. That would be weird.


This might sound odd, but if you’ve lived in a small town for a long time and are bored some evening, why not head our to your cemetery for a stroll through time. You might encounter some good memories and good stories as you stumble upon the gravestones of folks you used to hang out with. Take a friend along so you have someone to listen to your stories. Don’t worry about ghosts. Most cemeteries aren’t haunted. Trust me, I once wrote a book about it. Well, a few are, but the ghosts don’t really bother much.


I’m happy that I have become comfortable wandering around in a cemetery. I actually own land there so it is good to check out the property from time to time. My land is just a few feet from the town banker and right next door to the church secretary. It is a pretty good neighborhood. I’m just sayin’.



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