Talking Dead in an Honest Cemetery
(Updated October 20)
Tomorrow night (Sat, Oct 20) there will be a historical cemetery walk in Eastside Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Hutchinson, Kansas. The forecast (as of Friday afternoon) is for a high of 83 and a low of 56 - a far cry from the conditions under which I shot the photo above, this past January. I always thought that spritz of snow in the air looked like a ghost.
Eastside isn't the most ornate cemetery I've known, but I like to walk there. And it's a good honest graveyard in that it has very few of what I call "Lawn Boy tombstones" - the ones designed such that the cemetery's mowers can go right over them.
After all, isn't it enough that the residents of a cemetery have to be dead? To be deceased and still have to be so compliant with lawn regulations would be adding insult to fatal injury.
(text and photos below updated October 20)
But about the walk - Saturday night from 7PM to 9PM, actors with the Hutchinson Theatre Guild portrayed seven area residents at their grave sites. The event, "Talking Tombstones", was a fundraiser for the guild and cost $15 to attend.
The role call of the dramatized deceased:
Bob Colladay portrayed Thurman J. Bixler, a turn of the 20th century entrepreneur who bottled fruit soda and flew planes around the city with his brothers.
Colladay had an empty bottle on hand that once held one of "T. J. Bixler's Famous" sodas - "Extra Fine" and "Made with Polar Distilled Water." Gee, my diet whatevers feel a little mundane now.
Another local deceased person is a woman by the last name of "Broadwell", whose legal first name is uncertain, although she went by "Mary." She is reputed to be the sister of Dalton Gang member Dick Broadwell. We have a lot of old west gang history here in Kansas, but I didn't know there was any in Hutchinson.
Mary Hadley was a temperance crusader and church founder. She died too early to have been acquainted with the Women's Christian Temperance Union "Little Man."
Esther Richardson, the first local female school administrator was portrayed by her great-great-granddaughter, Martha Slater.
Cpl. Franklin Hogan won the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism during the Civil War.
Lynette Mathews was "a supporter of the downtrodden."
The Rev. Tim Soule of First Presbyterian Church portrayed E.L. Meyer, founder of First National Bank in Hutchinson.