The family went to this fair at a church in Claverack, NY, SSE of Albany. The Wife sees a friend who 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 no gravestones. Gram died on Super Bowl Sunday 1982, and my aunt Deana a decade and a half earlier. So I decided to check 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, there is still plenty of lichen there, but at least it’s readable.
Ah, Mildred Rowe was a couple of years OLDER than her husband, but outlived him by a couple of decades.
Pleased with our work, we went onto another grave. Headstones tell interesting stories. The Duntz couple had two kids. Emily died before she was 40, and Azano didn’t make it to his 18th birthday. The parents buried both of their children.
Interestingly, there are separate little headstones at ground level for AZANO, EMILY, and MOTHER (Edna Alger), but not for the father, Ellis, because others evidently made that determination.
Later, with friends, I’ve had several conversations about making plans for that time after death so that family members don’t have fights about it. I speak from experience in this matter.
We had almost run out of time – the Wife was calling us to have lunch at the event – but we thought this one headstone needed our help, not so much from the lichen, but from some other growth. Even together, we could not pull out the weed obscuring the view, and I didn’t have a knife on me to cut it away. Instead of removing the obstruction, the Daughter took a weed and tied them down, then found a rock, an adventure in itself, to keep the mess down.
We did relatively little lichen removal on this one, but it needed less work. This headstone was next to another stone I suspect marked the sister of the woman noted here.
The Daughter thought that she might like doing this kind of work for a living, or maybe do it as a hobby to get away from her busy lawyer career. We found it very relaxing on a perfect, sunny November day (67 F, 19.4C), a day before it snowed!