Sunday, November 21, 2004

Today Matt & I went out to ride short-track motorcycles. I ran 3 heats, then ran out of energy. It was silly fun. Matt, Jack & I went to dinner at Taiwan restaurant, then I went home for a rest.

Got email from a pal who was at a cemetery today, and prompted this memory from me:

about a buh-zillion years back, I lived on a ranch outside Dripping Springs, TX with my ex-wife. It was her house, I moved into it. The house was nice, tasteful, etc, but it was a yard in the country. everything had overgrown with vines, brush, wierdness.

I spent the first 3 months cutting, shredding, pulling weeds, burning brush, clearing land. We found a 54 Buick transmission, motor and fenders. No joke, under brush and junk. It looked like Matt's backyard times 30.

When I finished, there was prarie grass & defined groves of oak trees. A nice looking ranch, but only 3 acres. My neighbor Eddie was the ranch manager for the 40 acre spread that surrounded us. It had lots of pasture, but also lots of overgrown brush and junk.

Eddie made us an offer, If I'd clear out one of the lower pastures, he'd let Rona graze her horses there.

I started clearing and cleaning, and stumbled over a wrought iron fence. Small, overgrown, rusted. I focused on it, started clearing, got the fence uncovered, started cutting back past the fence, and found the first headstone. Early 1800's. It was the family cemetery for them that started the Signal Hill Ranch.

Took about 2 weeks, managed to clear out all the brush, all the "small" trees, left the bigest oak, but cut it up to look like a tree, not a bush.

4 couples, 19 kids, 6 slaves. ... for the stones I found.

Eddie and I talked about it, and decided not to publish or show anyone, the family line ended over 50 years ago, when the ranch was sold at state auction.

If we mentioned it, the land would have become historic, closed, etc. etc. and would have just turned to a big ol mess.

As it stood, it was a nice place for the folks who were buried there. I even planted some bulbs.

Rona said it wasn't enough space to graze her horse, and we moved to the Florence, TX ranch a few months later.

Last time I was in town I drove by to look at it, it was already starting to grow over again. Makes me wonder about the tradition, and where I ought to lay my remains.

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