Auntie (auntiec) wrote in haints,

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important update (re: haints)

My stepdad grew up in Bedford, Indiana, which is known as the limestone capital of the world. We recently paid a visit to the town to attend a funeral, and my stepdad told me a very interesting story.

Evidently, he had taken his (now ex) wife and their little sons to the local cemetery for a picnic one sunny day. As the others busied themselves setting up the food, stepdad took a short walk up to the top of a hill overlooking the cemetery grounds. There, he found an old man who was also taking in the view.

The old man greeted him and struck up a conversation, then began explaining that most of the old graves with the worn, unreadable headstones belonged to the stonecutters who played such a integral part in the founding and early economy of the town. He also pointed out that many of these blue-collar workers were immigrants, and that they would send most of their pay back overseas to support their families. If one of the workers got sick or had an accident in the quarries and died, the rest would pool their money and continue sending it to their friend's loved ones, and would spend their precious off-the-clock time carving crude grave markers out of scrap limestone for their fallen colleagues.

"The stonecutters gave so much to make this town what it is now," the old man said. "The stonecutters must not be forgotten."

Stepdad agreed, thanked him for the interesting information and reached to shake the old man's hand, but paused to look over his shoulder when he heard his sons yelling and playing in the distance. When he turned back, the old man was gone. From his position on the hill he could see the entire cemetery, but the old man was nowhere to be found.

Shaking, he returned to his family. They ate their lunch, left the cemetery, and returned with bunches of carnations - one for each illegible gravestone in the old, overgrown section of the graveyard.

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