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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, May 27 2001

Memorial Day

Ever since 1982, Memorial Day has been an extra special holiday for me. That is when I first met my wife, Patricia. My friends' Pam and Fuzz Christoff and Pat's friend and Fuzz's niece, Beth Fabo, arranged for us to meet on a blind date. Pat's famous line now is, "My blind date was really blind." From what she told me later about our first meeting, I believe for her, it was love at first fright. She went home thinking to herself, "David is pretty good looking but... those ugly green tennis shoes, his pants and shirt didn't match, the hair in his ears, and that pointy baseball cap made him look like a pin head. That guy needs help. I better marry him." I don't know what would have become of our relationship if I hadn't worked so hard to make a good impression.

For the picnic that Beth Fabo's parents held that day just so Pat and I could meet, Pat baked a Virginia applesauce cake. Dessert time came and she brought the cake to me. I thought to myself, "This is my kind of woman. She is giving me the whole cake." She quickly dashed that thought by pulling back the pan and telling me that I could only have one piece.

On one of our early dates, I told her that we would go meet some of my relatives. We drove north into Clearfield County and each new road took us to less populated areas. She kept asking whether I knew where we were going. Finally, I told her to pull off the road into the East Ridge Cemetery in Burnside Township. She got really concerned and asked, "Do your relatives live here?" I quickly reassured her, "Only some of the dead ones."

My maternal grandparents back to and including my great, great grandparents are buried there, as well as many of their offspring. The rural community around there has a strong sense of family and the people take great pride in caring for the graves of their ancestors. I lived only two years in that community but I do share their sense of family and pride. I didn't understand it at the time, but in retrospect I was inviting Pat to join my extended family and me.

Actual epitaphs...

On the grave of Ezekiel Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia
Here lies Ezekiel Aikle
Age 102
The Good Die Young.

In a London, England cemetery
Ann Mann
Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767

In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery
Anna Wallace
The children of Israel wanted bread
And the Lord sent them manna,
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.

Memory of an accident in a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, cemetery
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake
Stepped on the gas Instead of the brake.

A widow wrote this epitaph in a Vermont cemetery
Sacred to the memory of my husband John Barnes who died January 3, 1803
His comely young widow, aged 23, has many qualifications of a good wife,
and yearns to be comforted.
(Ed.: guess they did not have personal ads then?)

Sent by David Caldwell

Good thoughts

A clean conscience makes a soft pillow.
A family altar can alter a family.
A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
Are you wrinkled with burden? Come on into Church for a faith lift!

Sent by Barry Hunt
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