by Gregory E. Larson
The summer morning had a freshness to it, causing one to linger in the breeze above the river . . . though the freshness would not remain in August. The day’s increasing wind from the south ushered in hot air in an attempt to legitimize a Midwest drought.
Grass crunched under foot, as the freshness had already given way to dormancy. Stones of different age, size and shape dotted the hillside. Some had tilted or shifted in the sod. We tried to read the words and numbers on the cut stone, but weather and time had worn the surfaces. They were discolored by moss, dirt and erosion. Our fingers traced engravings on the rough surfaces to reveal names of real people given up to the earth in decades and centuries past.
It was a quiet place in the country, punctuated by sounds of a busy world, of people going about their daily business in northeast Kansas. The freight trains rocked and creaked on the tracks hidden in the woods along the river. Planes overhead pierced the blue sky on journeys of unknown destinations. On rare occasions, clouds of dust billowed from the gravel road as a car or truck passed by.
|The large monument and sculpture at Mt. Sidney|
R & A ELDER
JUNE 30, 1879
JAN 20, 1895
. . . not yet sixteen. I wondered what kind of life he lived. How did he die? Illness? Accident? Who were his friends? How deep was the sorrow of parents and family? On my walk that morning it was a mystery lost to layers of sod and generations.