The usual Autumn grey overcast finally cleared over Nebraska. We actually had some gorgeous Autumn weather a few days ago. It was time to take a walk in the park, so to speak. A walk in the park reserved for the dead.
Prospect Hill Cemetery is one of the older cemeteries in Madison County and was incorporated into the city of Norfolk as the town expanded westward. The portion I enjoy visiting on “Visit A Cemetery Day” is laid out in the old-fashioned, traditional manner with tombstones and not just the flush-to-the-ground markers that are the case in new cemeteries.
Because Prospect Hill is an old place, there are plenty of old trees that add beauty and pleasant character. A big reason I like this cemetery is that there are many grave sites that date back to when Norfolk was first settled and incorporated.
I return to Prospect Hill frequently so I can spend a few minutes contemplating my very close friend and former coworker, Terry. The public knew him as “Lee Terry” because he switched his middle and first names to create his radio name. Whenever I miss Terry, I am able to visit here.
There is another site to visit just a few yards away from Terry’s plot. Warren Wiborg was the owner of the “Norfolk Hatchery”. The hatchery is the source of chickens and other poultry for the area. I became acquainted with Warren because he used to phone in his commercials and his “Lucky Chick” program for use on WJAG.
He was a smart and funny man. Once he tried to convince me to buy a pair of geese in order to control weeds in my yard and to discourage prowlers. City zoning prohibits livestock within city limits, but the geese became a running gag between Warren and me.
Not far from Terry and Warren is the grave of a young boy. I would have missed seeing it if the collection of toys hadn’t been there. There were a few “Matchbox” and “Hot Wheels” cars, a “Beanie Baby” stuffed animal, and other memorabilia.
A ghostly statue of President Lincoln marks the Civil War veterans’ section.
More recent veterans are remembered on this memorial wall. It took a few minutes to realize the bottles of beer had been placed here purposely in lieu of flowers. I’m guessing this is a violation of official cemetery policy and that they were probably removed by caretakers.
In the new addition area, the graves are cheerfully decorated, including this one where a former Cornhusker football team fan is buried.
The Laughrey family site is interesting because flower vases dominate the stones. Were they horticulturists, florists, or did they just enjoy flowers? Back in the day, this must have been beautifully decorated.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes golfer Lee Trevino. “I keep a lot of my opinions to myself. My grandfather, who was a gravedigger, told me one day, ‘Son, the next time you go by the cemetery, remember that a third of the people are in there because the got into other people’s business.”