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clean up day at the Graveyard (standard:Inspirational stories, 616 words)
Author: stanley mcqueen kentucky backwoods writerAdded: Apr 15 2007Views/Reads: 2424/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
this event really happen, its about a day with my kin folks working to clean our great great grandpaw grave site in the jackson country kentucky

Mcqueen, Kentucky 

Hello Jim ...... Thought I'd drop you a few lines ...... Something
interesting happened to me last weekend ...... My only aunt on my 
daddy's side called me Friday ...... Her name is Dormay Darty. She is 
75 years old and still in good health ...... She says to me on the 
phone, "I need your help tomorrow." ...... Wondering what on earth she 
was needing help for, I asked, "What do you need me to do to help you?" 
...... "Well," she said, "your great-great-grandpa's graveyard has 
grown over, and it's been nearly 20 years now since it has been tended 

I had often heard my father tell about his grandpa, John Mcqueen, being
buried over in Jackson County, Kentucky ...... I had never visited his 
grave place, and I'm now 53 years old ...... All I had ever been told 
about him was that he was red-headed. Well, I tell my aunt that my 
arthritis keeps me from being able to work any, but I would come ...... 
So, the next day being Saturday, me and my wife loaded up and went to 
her home to follow her and her husband to the graveyard ...... It was 
early, near eight a.m., when we crossed from Laurel County into Jackson 
County ...... We were the first of the Mcqueen kin to get there ...... 
Everyone took a dish and we were all going to pitch in and clear the 
grave ...... Several showed up ~ the loyal ones. 

Anyway, my little gray-headed Aunt Dormay never stopped working ......
The moment we got there she was grubbing ...... Mind you, she is 75, 
and I tried to tell her to slow up some because of her age, but was in 
fear that she would whop me with a sprouting hoe ...... That graveyard 
was so thick with underbrush and little trees that you could not see a 
single grave from the little narrow road that leads up there through 
the ridge ...... John Mcqueen was born in 1829, and died in 1903 ...... 
His son ~ my grandpa ~ had bought him a small stone with his name 
engraved on it ...... Something about us all joining in and clearing 
this grave that held a man none of us had ever seen ~ except in old 
pictures ~ touched my heart in a certain way that I can't explain. 

The day was mild ~ not hot ~ and by dinnertime we brought sunshine to
grandpa's grave ...... I stood looking at his marker and said in my 
heart, "Grandpa, I never knew you, but your children are here today at 
your resting place and we have brought sunshine again to this place you 
have laid for over 100 years now." 

Jim, this day, with my kin all together again, working together and
doing something we should have done long past, brought my mind back to 
days when folks really honored each other ...... So Jim, I took you 
along on this graveyard-clearing, thinking you would enjoy being there 
in mind ...... The food was good ...... My Aunt Dormay makes the best 
vanilla pie a man ever laid a lip on ...... We had a wonderful time, 
sharing stories of the past like you always do ...... 

P.S. ~ There has never been a harder-working woman in the County of
Laurel than my little short gray-headed Aunt Dormay ...... She is a 
fine woman, the last of my aunts on pap's side left here alive ...... 
And today that little backwoods graveyard where granddaddy rests is 
cleaner than a hound's tooth. 



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