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 [ BACK]  [NEXT]                       Issue #063 - 10/26/1997


The Sunday Funnies does it to death...

Hi, again!
     One subject we don't touch on very much in the Funnies is
death.  Oh, it has come up a few times, usually in reference to
someone who offed themselves in some particularly stupid way. 
But most times, death isn't all that funny.  So this time around,
we'll just stick to reading tombstones.  
     Did you ever go into an old graveyard and really look at the
stones?  It may sound a little weird, but it can be very
interesting.  Folks in the old days seemed to put more writing on
their stones, often using poetry.  Not just the bare dates of
birth and death, but a commentary on the life of the people who'd
lived there.  Many of them are just simple details of a life -- a
kind of mini-biography in stone, but some are funny or even
put-downs.  Halloween seems an appropriate enough time for us to
catch up on our tombstone reading.
     There would be grave consequences if I didn't remember our
very lively friends:  Dale Frederickson, Peter Adler, Carel Van
Der Merwe, Kerry Miller, Jerry Taff, Beth Butler, Bob Martens and
Ellen Peterson.   It's scary how much good material you guys
find!  OK, pick up those flashlites and it's off to the
     Have a great week!



   A Collection of Unusual Gravestone Epitaphs---

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

   - Gravedigger Robert Phillip's epitaph in the Kingsbridge,
     England, cemetery has a professional touch:
          Here I lie at the Chancel door;
          Here I lie because I am poor;
          The farther in the more you pay;
          Here I lie as warm as they.

   - 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.

   - Playing with names in a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:
          Here lies
          Johnny Yeast
          Pardon me
          For not rising.

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

   - In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:
          Here lays Butch,
          We planted him raw.
          He was quick on the trigger,
          But slow on the draw.

   - 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.

          [ A 19th Century Singles Ad? ]

   - A lawyer's epitaph in England:
          Sir John Strange 
          Here lies an honest lawyer, 
          And that is Strange.

   - Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont:
          I was somebody.
          Who, is no business 
          Of yours.

   - Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco,
     Arizona in the cowboy days of the 1880's.  He's buried in
     the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:
          Here lies Lester Moore
          Four slugs from a .44
          No Les No More.

   - In a Georgia cemetery:
          "I told you I was sick!"

   - John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery:
          Reader if cash thou art
          In want of any
          Dig 4 feet deep
          And thou wilt find a Penny.

   - On Margaret Daniels grave at Hollywood Cemetery Richmond,
          She always said her feet were killing her
          but nobody believed her.

   - In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
          On the 22nd of June
          - Jonathan Fiddle -
           Went out of tune.

   - Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont has an
     epitaph that sounds like something from a Three Stooges
          Here lies the body of our Anna
          Done to death by a banana
          It wasn't the fruit that laid her low
          But the skin of the thing that made her go.

   - More fun with names with Owen Moore in Battersea, London,
          Gone away
          Owin' more
          Than he could pay.

   - Someone in Winslow, Maine didn't like Mr. Wood:
       In Memory of
       Beza. Wood
          Departed this life
          Nov. 2, 1837
          Aged 45 yrs.

          Here lies one Wood
          Enclosed in wood
          One Wood
          Within another.
          The outer wood
          Is very good:
          We cannot praise
          The other.

   - On a grave from the 1880's in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
          Under the sod and under the trees
          Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
          He is not here, there's only the pod:
          Pease shelled out and went to God.

   - The grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania is almost
     a consumer tip:
          Who was fatally burned
          March 21, 1870
          by the explosion of a lamp
          filled with "R.E. Danforth's
          Non-Explosive Burning Fluid"

   - Bad writing found in a cemetery in La Pointe, Wisconsin:
       To the Memory of Abraham Beaulieu
          Born 15 September 1822
          Accidentally shot 4th April 1844
          As a mark of affection from his brother.

   - Oops!  Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:
          Born 1903--Died 1942
          Looked up the elevator shaft to see if
          the car was on the way down. It was.

   - In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:
          Here lies an Atheist
          All dressed up
          And no place to go.

   - From the grave of William Shakespeare at Holy Trinity
     Church, Stratford-on-Avon, England:
          Good frend for Jesus sake forbeare,
          To digg the dust encloased heare!
          Blest be the man that spares thes stones,
          And curst be he that moves my bones.

   - In a Waynesville, North Carolina, cemetery:
          Effie Jean Robinson
          Come blooming youths, as you pass by
          And on these lines do cast an eye
          As you are now, so once was I;
          As I am now, so must you be,
          Prepare for death and follow me. 

      ---- Someone, who saw this, added:
          To follow you
          I am not content.
          How do I know
          Which way you went.

© 1997 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.