Friday, July 30, 2010

Rest In Peace, My Friend.

An old school friend passed away this morning. We had known each other since we were 11 years old. We went from playing softball to listening to records in music store cubicles. She married first and was  later a bridesmaid in my wedding. We both had children.

Then we lost touch as we built our lives in different locations. Periodically, she would call and we would promise to get together and "catch up," but we never did. Finally, we re-connected just a few months ago. By then, she was suffering from a terminal illness. She joked a lot, but the pain was evident as she talked about what she would have to endure before the illness took her.

She isn't the first school friend who has passed and with the death of each friend, it seems like a piece of my childhood disappears.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Cemetery Reclaimed

The final resting place for a number of African-Americans has been cleaned, mowed and fenced near my home in Newburgh, Indiana. The Old Colored Cemetery, as it has always been known, is located on Bell Road, north of the Newburgh Post Office. The effort is being conducted as an Eagle Scout project by a local young man. With help from friends and family, the cemetery now looks like a park.

For an unknown reason, the cemetery has been renamed as Bell Cemetery. The Warrick County Historian has told me a Bell family lived nearby, but members of this family are not buried here. Only two tombstones  remain - one for Georgia or George Willingham (died 1906) and another for someone named Stella.

Reclaiming cemeteries seems to be a fairly common practice for scouts working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. They are to be commended for this community service. The Hedges Cemetery at the end of my street was also a scout project and continues to be a popular place for neighborhood folks to stroll on summer evenings.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Our parents have passed away and some of our siblings have gone, too. We are now the "older generation" in our family. The oldest is 74 and the youngest - well, isn't so young any more. We are the Joyce Cousins - the grandchildren of Lycurgus Mino Joyce and Beatrice Mary Smith, who married 10 December 1902 Hardin County, Illinois.

We came from several states to share a meal and some memories in the area where our great-grandfather, James Pinkney Joyce, settled in the early days of the Civil War. No matter where we live, Hardin County is still where we connect to our past.