Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cleaning house

I'm strangely concerned about not having enough memory on my phone, so I spent a few minutes deleting stupid photos. First I'd like to pose a question: why do we take such idiotic photos with our phones? Are we under the misguided impression that other people really care to see the blurb about a movie adaptation of The Help? I have photos of a traffic jam I was stuck in, for crying out loud. Why did I feel a need to document that?

But back to our regularly scheduled program. I took this photo at a conference I attended locally a few weeks ago. It was in the suburbs at a hotel, and at lunch I walked along a little nature trail they had. It was nice back there, the bugs weren't out yet and the sun was still a novelty. So there I am, strolling along, and lo! A gravestone.

And then, because I've never met a question that didn't need asking, I started poking into the history. The fellow below the stone was 92 years old when he died, which is pretty darn old, even by today's standards. Am I correct in assuming that he must have been of good means?

I found a marriage record at the Reformed Dutch Church in Albany, from 1794 - he would have been 32 when he married Christina Sicker. I was dumb and didn't take a photo of the adjacent headstone, but I think the name on it may have been Christina. But then 2 years later, there's a record of a Christina Roff marrying another guy. I don't think divorces were all that common back then, and clearly William was still alive; maybe the second Christina was a relative?

What did he do? Why were there just 2 gravestones? Was he a pleasant husband, or a cruel one? Handsome? Homely?

And then I realized: maybe I should put this energy to a more productive use.

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