Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Hopkins County Atticfacts and Folks Tales

gv graveyard 500

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (4/23/13) – You thought I was dead didn’t ya? Fooled ya. I was just trying to confuse ole Steve Ray before his guest presentation at the Hopkins County Genealogy Society meeting at the old L&N Depot there behind City Hall.

Steve’s is discussing famous or noteworthy people or graves in a 50 mile radius of Hopkins County. Figured I’d get him searching for mine before his lecture. Sort of a left over rotten egg hunt in actuality. I ain't near famous or noteworthy but I do have my grave already. Plan ahead momma said. So while I might not know where I’m going to be tomorrow I can all but guarantee ya where I’ll be in 50 years or so, give a take a decade or so.
 
We folks are strange about death. Steve could tell you that. He’s been a mortician. I’m not all that crazy about picking thru our graveyards around the county here. There’s a few neat stones, remembrances here and there in some of our dead ones new homes or old for the ones been buried for a long time I guess, but I admit when I go out of the United States I do tend to try and find the graveyards.
 
I was on a cruise and exploring Old San Juan and took a wrong turn and before I knew it I was walking straight for the graveyard. I thought I was headed toward the ocean. Actually I was, because the graveyard was right alongside the ocean. All the tombs were above ground. It was at dusk and one of the concrete covers was slightly ajar, so I made a quick decision to turn around and head back in the direction of my ship on the other side of the island. But seeing all those white boxes neatly in a row with white tombstones all in a row was a fascinating picture in my mind so the next island we decked out, first thing I did was go hunting the graveyard. This was in Cozumel. About 5 blocks off the shopping strip of the port I found a breathtaking graveyard. It was like entering a fairy tale children’s book. Again all the buried were above ground, to keep them from floating out with the tide, but what was different here was most were built in to little shacks or buildings straight out of the Little Red Riding Hood.
There were concrete ones naturally, but also brick, wood and I swear a couple looked like straw!
 
They were painted bright and cheerful. It was the most amazing contrast to the Old San Juan graveyard, where all were white and in a row, perfect rows of dead people. Not in Cozumel. It was indicative to me of the bright and color filled world of Mexico carried right over to the cemeteries. And the aspect I most liked was that outside these little death huts if you will were cigarette butts, beer cans, long burnt out candles, stuff animals, family photos and maybe even a stuffed dearly departed cat or dog. Seriously.
 
At first I was confused, but then I realized the dead wasn’t mourned and discarded as we seem to do in the United States, here they celebrated and visited their dead in party form and fashion. No time for tears unless they are from laughter for our neighbors to the south. I found that very comfortable. And I also decided that if our cemeteries took that form, I’d find myself visiting my deceased relatives a lot more often. I mean take my Aunt Mary for instance. I used to love going to her house and sitting in her kitchen eating sugar cookies off special colorful paper plates she’d buy just for our cookie time together.
 
She had the most awesome bright red painted ceiling in her kitchen. Rest of the house was a dull boring white. Not the kitchen. That was here room. And she wanted to be happy in it… so bright red ceiling with white walls. That was the life and love of that home. It’s a shame her gravesite isn’t built in a lil room with a red roof over it. She’d feel much more at home and I know at least once a week I’d be taking paper plates and sugar cookies to her grave and telling her what I learned in school, well what I’ve learned in life this week. She’d enjoy hearing those stories. She’d feel a part of this world. I guess she sees it but there’s nothing like hearing it first hand is there? Dead or not.
 
I guess I better clarify that. She was my great Aunt Mary. Or GREAT Aunt Mary. Those genealogy people always get after me if I don’t clarify and just go with nicknames. Every one called her Aunt Mary, that’s who she was, so that’s what everyone called her in the family.
 
Aunt Mary’s grave won’t be on Mr. Ray’s discussion. But I guarantee he’ll have some interesting folks and tales to share and bring to life some of the drab tombstones we drive by and hardly give a thought to it seems.
 
If you want to join us come down to the depot around 6:45ish and pull up a chair there by the railroad and listen in to Steve. Doors open. Just not the caskets.
 
Richard Cunningham is a Hopkins County native and a Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholar. Contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 
Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Smith, Hamilton honored at Distinguished Alumni Reception

OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/29/2014) – Family, friends and Daviess County Public Schools administrators joined with the… Read More

Owensboro Police Department Activity Reports

OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/29/14) — Owensboro Police Department reported the following recent arrests and citations: Jonathan… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 29, 2014 6913

Luke's Flea Market Vendors' Home Away…

in News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 28, 2014 5713

Police Pursuit Spans Parts of Northern…

in Top Stories by Alex Piper, MCSO
August 26, 2014 5526

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 26, 2014 5053

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 4687

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 30, 2014 2821

Ponderosa Madisonville to Donate 10…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 26, 2014 2236

Two People Injured When Vehicle Overturns…

in Top Stories by Matt Sanderson
August 27, 2014 1654

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - August…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
August 30, 2014 836

City of Madisonville Says 'Goodbye' to…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
August 29, 2014 786

MCC Announces New Board Members

in Top Stories by Joyce Riggs

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 26, 2014 5526

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 26, 2014 4687

City Street Closures on Strawbridge and…

in News by Abby Shelton
August 26, 2014 2922

City Hall, Transit, Sanitation Schedules…

in News by Abby Shelton
August 27, 2014 2382

Owensboro Police Conduct Investigations

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 2241

Happy Birthday to the Edge Ice Center

in News by Brittni Bunn

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 28, 2014 5713

Police Pursuit Spans Parts of Northern…

in Top Stories by Alex Piper, MCSO
August 26, 2014 5053

Family Has Close Call with Tornado

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 27, 2014 4662

Five Injured in Three-Vehicle Accident

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 26, 2014 3526

Annual Everly Brothers Cruise In…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
August 27, 2014 2866

Muhlenberg Job Corps Former Student…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06