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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Middens and Grave

I have a better appreciation for the problems of archaeologists – we've established a couple of our gardens on middens. The word literally means "dung heap" so little wonder such sites are later used as gardens. Every soil stirring operation brings more to the surface. The layers get mixed and the contents removed and replaced. We collect and sort it for...something, our Fred Smith project. As Fred said, "... for all the American people everywhere. They need something like this."

An elderly neighbor, Ron, who grew up on this place, told us there was a house fire long ago. We'll have to ask him where they disposed of the debris. That might account for the hinges and nails, maybe some of the ceramics, probably not the crowbar or bicycle chain or who know what that other stuff is. Some of it is big. Ron says they kept a small dairy herd, grew apples and strawberries, and tomatoes for the Heinz plant in town. At that time everyone grew tomatoes for Heinz but now they're trucked in from out of state.

Ron's brother Robbie died in infancy. His headstone is back behind the gardens. Baby grave. When anything mysterious happens around here, the explanation is: baby grave.

Before we met Ron, Donna had done some detective work and discovered the rest of the story. Baby Robbie wasn't buried on the farm but in a cemetery in town. When a family plot was established there, a uniform set of headstones was placed, and the baby's original stone brought back to the farm.

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