Cave Dwellings: Living Amongst the Dead…I Never Saw Even ONE Ghost!!
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Living Amongst the Dead…I Never Saw Even ONE Ghost!!

“  I finally got my act together and put my cemetery pictures together..I was disappointed I couldn’t find one of the house…Maybe I’ll come across one later…


….Yep..that was my Dad..The sexton of Oak Ridge Cemetery….He used to call himself the “sexy sexton”, or ..the “Mayor of Marble City”…He had quite a strange sense of humor..I didn’t fall too far from that tree, now did I?  Below, left, is the entrance as it is now..There used to be a large arched gate that said “Oak Ridge Cemetery” down by the house……


On the right is where the house we lived in USED to be.  What you see as a white building on the right, is the garage and workshop, which were there when we lived there…


Left is my Dad, working at keeping his “fleet” of trimmers in working order..I took the picture on the right in almost the same view as the old one.  I kept talking to my Dad while I was wandering around the grounds, and though he never “appeared”,  I felt he was there with me.

I had a really classy 1966 yellow Chevelle Convertible when I turned 20…I was going to Jr. College in Elgin, and coming home on the weekends to work at the Sandwich Hospital as a Nurse’s Aide to make the payments..Hey, can you say “angel of mercy”????


She’s a beauty, eh?? Right is the same view today….without my pretty yellow convertible..The summer before we were married, (or even engaged), Dennis and I went to Texas in that car in the middle of July.  We drove all around Dallas in 103 degree heat with the top down..and BLACK vinyl interior.Talk about sweat!!!.Everyone else was driving around in their air conditioned cars, looking at us like we were nuts…We were..and In Love!


The left photo was taken from my bedroom balcony in about 1963..See the large gate and arched sign I mentioned at the beginning of the blog??  On the right, notice how different it looks now... and how much bigger the trees are now!  I parked my truck out approximately where I figured the cars would have been…AND..that is Dad’s 1955 Chevy, two toned turquoise and white  sitting out there…Wish I still had THAT one , too!
This is my brother and myself…He is 4 years younger than I am..and he never lets me forget it! This pic was taken in front of our house out by the gate..I have no idea what he was so dressed up for…Whatever it was, I was not going..I don’t even have on shoes!!!

There was a long drive going down into the cemetery and the house was just inside the gate on the left. Here is the huge old Oak tree that was just across from where the house sat…. We had a swing ..and Mom and Dad used to sit out there in the evenings…100_7441


Above, left is the dreaded crypt I was talking about.  It looks pretty sad now.  When we lived there, it had huge brass doors, and all of the brick was in still there. This is where they used to store the bodies when there was too much snow and frost to hand dig a grave. (And where Patsy was laid out to scare kids at my Halloween party). There were 3 layers of shelves made of metal rods on the back wall to slide the caskets into.  It was underground and over the hillside from the cemetery..Believe it or not, it used to be really beautiful. The middle picture is the cannon, placed in a circular drive with the original cannon balls and a flagpole.  The bench wasn’t there when we lived there. I’m sure you are wondering about the tombstone on the right… Fern and Tytus Pasalski… I learned to drive on the roads out there..and backing up to turn around took me treacherously close to this stone..I believe I bumped it once or twice..I apologized many times to Fern and Tytus…I’m sure they hated to see me get in the car and start it up…

I could go on and on…


….Left,  this man died at Vicksburg, in the Civil War…Middle,  Peter Hummel…notice the date of death as 1850, “Died and Buried in the city of Mexico”…If I remember how my Dad told it (help me out here, Dad), these are all children from the same family that died in a plague in Mexico City…On the right is John Monroe..He is , as far as I know, the only African American buried  in Oak Ridge Cemetery..He was a character around Sandwich who was a transient, did odd jobs, for people in town. Everbody knew him… I have no idea how or where he lived in town..They called  him “N_---r Jack”..I know..that is sooo politically incorrect, but things were very different then. When he died , in 1912, the people of Sandwich took up a collection and paid for this burial and this tombstone..His real name was John Monroe…and he was much loved in this town.  Soooo much history in cemeteries!!

  By now you are either nodding off, or turned off, by this very long blog. I have to say that I enjoyed sharing some of my best memories with you. My kids used to love to go see Grandma Cora and Grandpa Don at the cemetery. Mom and Dad would babysit them there many times…so you see…my kids don’t see anything strange about me growing up in one..Thanks for reading…I was like a catharsis for me…OH…a shout out to our new followers,  Thelma and Skip.  I hope I didn't scare you away..Hey..NO, YOU CANNOT UN- FOLLOW !!! (JUST KIDDING, REALLY).


  1. Call me strange if you will but I really enjoyed reading about where you grew up and I am sure it was great for you to "go back in time."
    I think it is very interesting! Thanks for sharing. :-)

    Take care!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  2. I liked it too - great blog. All the photos you posted were interesting as well. Your old convertible was a beauty!

  3. Ditto from me on how interesting the cemetery blogs have been. You have some great pics there to go along with your fantastic story.

  4. My cousin lived down the street from a funeral home...We used to go play in their "basement" with the son of the house...I bet I was 40 years old when it hit me where exactly we played!!!...Ohmygosh!!!...I'm still not over it!!!...LOL

  5. great comparison shots today, dementia donna!!...thanks for sharing a bit of your past!..I would never 'unfollow'!!!

  6. I thought the blog was great in how you presented the before & after pics. That concept worked well especially with the accompaning dialogue. We like strolling through old cemeteries & especially in the southwest. A lot can be garnered from tombstone inscriptions about the local people & their area. Good job on the post for sure:)) And, like you, Kelly had a convertable at that age too....a Mustang, but I can't remember the color she said it was.

  7. I loved your post today! It was fun getting to know more about you, and where you came from. I also learned how to drive in a cemetery! My grandpa took all of us girls there when we first started out because he said "there's nobody you can kill...they're all dead!"

    Next you have to tell us how you and McGuyver met!!

  8. P.S. Don't leave out the good parts just because your kids may be reading ;) LOL!

  9. Gives me goose bumps strolling thru this cemetary with y'all! What a wonderful tribute to memories of your youth. How awesome would it be today to go for a sunset drive in that Chevy...wind in your face and sweat on your legs against that hot, black seat!
    I bet Jack was quite the character!
    Loved this post.

  10. I to enjoyed the tour, and you are lucky like I was and kept pictures of your early cars, That Chevelle Convertible was nice, while you were driving that I was flying around in helicopters courtesey of the US Navy. I like your Dad's 55, a 55 like that was Sam's first car a yellow and white two tone Belair 210 2dr sdn.Since I had a 55 I would rather have the Buick Convertible parked alongside it, look's like a 61 or 62. Growing uo in those years or earlier was so neat. and being able to remember it and recount it is priceless. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..