Graveyard

It was one of those hot August afternoons in Augusta, Kansas. Jack Watson and I were on our bicycles and cutting through the Elmwood Cemetery. The cemetery was a great place to go riding as the street was level and smooth, and the large, old elm trees provided a canopy that shaded the entire area. As we rode, we noticed movement behind some of the monuments and as we got closer, we could see that it was a horse. We didn’t want to scare it, so we walked our bikes between the plots and headstones until we got close enough for a better look. We were both amazed and speechless at what we saw. Neither of us had ever seen a horse as swayback as this. He was so badly deformed it looked like some monster had chomped out a big piece of his back. Just looking at him, you could almost feel the pain he had suffered over the years. It was strange, but his condition didn’t seem to bother him now. He was as quiet and docile as could be.

We stood around and talked about his deformity and wondered what we could do to find his owner. Also, instead of referring to him as “horse,” we thought we should give him a name. Since we found him in the cemetery, “Graveyard” seemed like a fitting name. It also seemed perfect since he certainly looked like a bag of bones. Graveyard was wearing a halter, but we needed a lead rope in order to move him. We decided to take him to my house because there was a vacant lot across the alley from us. We thought we could picket him there while we looked for his owner. Jack’s house was the closest as he lived on Ohio Street, so he jumped on his bike and rode home to get some rope. He returned with a few feet of clothesline. Then he attached it to the halter, and we were in business. We left the cemetery going south on Ohio Street, and then turned west on Clark Street.

We hadn’t gotten too far down Clark Street before a man in a pick-up pulled along side us. We all stopped, and he got out of the truck and said, “Thanks for finding my horse!” He said the horse was a retiree that he was giving a home. We talked another minute, and the guy got back in his truck. He stuck his arm out the window, and we handed him the lead rope. As he drove off he said, “If you had left him alone, he would have come home by himself!” That possibility had never occurred to us.

 

This is not Graveyard- he looked a lot worse than this.

 

Dave Thomas

August 29, 2019

2 thoughts on “Graveyard

  1. What a great story! I love reading all the “history” of Augusta. Those certainly were the days.
    I remember a lot of the people you speak of. Mamie Hall getting all our supplies for school. I worked with Glen Chalmers at the Mobil Refinery, great guy. Gary Casner, he and my husband walk at the Elmwood Cemetery every day with Irwin Cody. I could go on and on.
    Could I share your story about my dad on Facebook? Would save me a lot of stamps.
    I save all the stories and they put a smile on my face.
    Hope all is well with the family.
    Dana (Fennell) Perez

    Like

    1. Hi, Dana-
      Glad you are enjoying the stories. You bet, you can share your dad’s story on Facebook or wherever! Your
      Dad was really a nice guy, and I have a lot of good memories of him and your mother. Say hello to your husband
      and ask him to please say hello to Gary and Irwin for me.

      Hope everything is going well for you and your family.

      Regards,
      Dave

      Like

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