TALES from the FRONT PORCH
Ringgold County's Oral Legend & Memories Project
Hands-on Genealogical Research
How many times have you been out and about, looking for
a country cemetery, an allegedly "still standing" rural
schoolhouse or church and THIS is the sign standing
at the beginning of the road you need to take? - the only
way to get there! So you stop, re-read the sign, think
about it. Is it worth the risk? How bad of a risk? How far will
you hafta walk if need be, God forbid.
Common sense tells you to drive on.
But your heart says to go for it.
You think about it some more.
You follow your heart.
As the road gets narrower and rougher, you begin to think some more.
Just how much further does this "at risk" road go?
Will there be "anything" when I get there? WILL I get there?
It seems like you've been driving for all eternity. You begin to
wonder if you are hearing things or has the car started making a
sound you've never heard before.
You know you are almost "there" when the dirt road turns
into two tire tracks cut through the overgrowth. That's
usually up over the next hill where it's too narrow to turn
around and no driveway into a farm field anywhere in sight.
That's also when you question your own sanity - but OH!!
What's that?? Gravestones under those old cedar trees
on the far horizion?? So you drive on, one eye on the
'prize' and other eye on the tire tracks ahead of you. Then
when you get "there" you realize the grass and weeds
are almost shoulder high. As you step out of the car,
your brain reminds you that there have been reports
of rattlesnakes in Iowa off and on. Still, you proceed
to get to the prize.
Or, you end up coming upon a
gravel or paved road at a T-intersection and realize
there wasn't a prize. Well, not anymore that is. That's
when you start to worry about what might have happened
to your car's undercarriage & exhaust system.
There are two country cemeteries I can't find. It isn't because
I haven't tried. I'ven eaten a lot of gravel dust looking for them.
I did find the sign saying "Oakland Cemetery ------>" and followed the
sign, headed east. Then came on the next crossroad that
had a sign "<-------- Oakland Cemetery." I though huh? So
I turned around and went back west. I was like a ping-pong ball,
bouncing back and forth between those two signs. I never did find Oakland
I've been looking for another country cemetery for about two years now.
Everyone tells me where it is, located back in a farm field away from the
road. It isn't marked by a sign.
I think I saw it the other day.
The sun was just right and it sure looked like gravestones to me. I don't think
it was a flock of sheep since nothing moved. Of course, I didn't have my binoculars
with me but I'll bring them along the next time I'm in the area.
Submission by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2009
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