Posts Tagged ‘cemeteries’

When my sister Leslie and I were in Binghamton in early October, we decided to go visit a couple grave sites. Frankly, it’s not something I do all that often, but since my sibling hardly ever gets to this side of the country, I decided that it’d be interesting.

First, we went to Floral Park Cemetery in nearby Johnson City, not very far from where our family moved to during my freshman year in college. I had found my paternal grandmother Agatha Green’s grave in 2013, and I was certain that I could discover it again. We traipsed through the entirety of Section M, but neither of us could find it.

Yet we were indeed in the right place. I showed her the nearby headstones of her father Samuel Walker, who I remember. He died in 1963, only a year before Agatha, a fact I had forgotten. It was also the location for the grave of Agatha’s brother Earl (1904 – 1961) – him I also recall; and his sister Melissa Walker Jackson (1914-1955), who I remember only in photos. Most mysterious.

Then we were onto Spring Forest Cemetery in the First Ward of Binghamton, my part of town growing up. We used to sled in there, back in the day. It is amazing now that we didn’t smash our heads into the trees, riding those crooked trails. We also would cut across the cemetery to play baseball at Ansco field.

We easily found the gravestone of Lilian Yates Holland, my maternal grandmother’s mother, her her son Ed Yates’, and a couple people named Archer, who are related to us in some fashion.

Peculiarly, there has never been a marker for either my maternal grandmother, Gertrude Yates Williams, who died on Super Bowl Sunday 1982, or her sister Adenia, who died in the mid-1960s, and are buried in the same section. My sisters and I have decided to rectify this in the coming year, though we also said that LAST year.

To quote Bullwinkle J. Moose, “This time for sure!”

hickey-gravestoneThe family went to this fair at a church in Claverack, NY, SSE of Albany. The Wife sees a friend connects with that one time a year. The Daughter played on the swing, but I headed for the adjacent cemetery.

My maternal grandmother Gert and her sister Adenia have np gravestones. Gram died on Super Bowl Sunday 1982, and my aunt Deana a decade and a half earlier. So I decided to ceck out the condition of the memorials.

I noticed right off that many of them have a covering of green substance I believe to be lichen. Some are more prone than others.

The Daughter, finished on the swing, joined me in the cemetery. I started cleaning off the lichen with the back of a plastic fork I happened to have, and she used an old pen to clean out the letters. I wish I had taken a “before” picture, but one could barely see HICKEY, and the names below were not visible. As you can probably tell Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting the gravesites, beyond the limits of geography, is a very personal preference, I believe. I don’t think I’ve visited my dad’s grave more than two or three times. Of course, when he first died, on this date in 2000, the headstone wasn’t ready.

I know I made at least one trip, maybe two, to the military cemetery 40 miles north of Charlotte, NC, with my mother and at least the sister who lives in North Carolina, and very likely, her daughter.

The last time, I’m sure, was when my mother died in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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