SPF – Ghost Hunters

SPF – Ghost Hunters

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. The photo this week is one I took at a local cemetery. I have always found cemeteries interesting and since it is Memorial Day weekend here in the US, when many of us visit the cemetery, a cemetery seemed like a good location for this week’s story. 

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Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Scare-de-cat. It’s just a cemetery.”

Kip gave Jack a mocking look, then flashed a big smile. Jack would follow Kip anywhere when she smiled, even in search of a ghost dog. There was a legend in town that when Bernadine Atwood died of scarlet fever, her loving dog was so distraught he spent the rest of his days laid upon her grave. It is said that on the night of the new moon you could see the dog watching over her. Nothing but Jack’s undying love for Kip would bring him to such a ghoulish place after dark.

“Over here!” yelled Kip from behind a large oak tree. Jack saw the headstone and wondered what he would do if the dog suddenly appeared.

After an hour of silent waiting, Jack said he was going home. Kip, bored with the game as well, agreed and they headed toward the entrance. Half-way there, Jack sensed something following them. When he heard a low growl, he yelled for Kip to run. They scrambled over the fence and sighed relief once on the other side.

That is until Jack noticed Kip’s leg was bleeding. Was that a dog bite, or just a scratch?

 

Photo101 Week in Review

Photo101 Week in Review

To recap the week, here are some photos that I took earlier today, trying out all the different techniques. Even if the subjects aren’t exactly exciting, it was fun practicing.

Establishing Shot – This is at a local cemetery (to capture the feeling of solitude). I took a long-angel photo down a line of head stones, using the ornately decorated one as the foreground focal point.

Wk1_Establishing Shot

 

Orientation – This picture was taken at a local park. The man sitting on the picnic table was feeding one of the geese. The first picture was taken vertically, the second horizontally. I can’t choose which one I like more.

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Rule of Three – The same goose from the previous photograph. I placed him in the upper third of the photo. I was actually standing behind a tree because he wasn’t too happy to have his picture taken.

Wk1_Rule of Thirds

Visit to Union Cemetery

Visit to Union Cemetery

Just west of the small Texas town of Gustine lies the old Union Cemetery. My husband and I visited the cemetery last week, a side-excursion on our way home to Oklahoma from South Texas. The cemetery is the final resting place for many of the Comanche County Kee’s, my paternal grandmother’s family. As a genealogist, visiting the family burial grounds is a must anytime we are within a “short” driving distance. I tease my husband that we have to visit the ‘dead relatives’. Fortunately, he is very understanding.

1-DSCF5257The small cemetery is enclosed by a stone fence with a couple of iron gates at either end. You cannot drive through the cemetery, but there is parking off the road and the gates were not locked. The Union Cemetery sign states it was established in 1879, several years after the town was originally settled, but before a post office was established. In the older part of the cemetery, there is a sign marking burial site of Susan Mary Rogers Speed, the first burial. The cemetery itself is well maintained and most of the markers are in good shape.

Having never been to the cemetery before, I didn’t know where to start, so I picked one end and began looking for anything that said Kee.  Having just come from South Texas, where the weather was warm, I was not prepared for the fierce wind of an early February morning. My light sweater did very little to keep out the cold. 1-DSCF5256Fortunately, I quickly found my 2nd-great grandmother, Plaiscetta Adeline Culp Kee. In keeping with Texan tradition, her grave marker only lists her initials, “P.A. Kee, wife of J.S. Kee.”  Plaiscetta was born April 23, 1822 in Chester County, South Carolina. She was the great-granddaughter of German immigrants who settled first in Pennsylvania and then South Carolina. Culp was an Americanization of the original name, Kolb. Plaiscetta  married John Silas (“J.S”) Kee , also from Chester County, around 1840. Plaiscetta, John, and their children moved to Alabama about 1848 where she and John had several more children before John died in 1867. She moved to Texas in the 1870’s, following in the footsteps of some of her sons.

The other important grave I found was my great-grandmother, Elmira Renfro Ford Kee. “Mira” was born in 1859 in Union Parish, Louisiana. She was married twice; first to William Issac Ford and then to John Culp Kee, son of Plaiscetta and John Silas.  Like many of the Kee women, Mira lived a long life, dying at age 90. I can remember a story my grandmother told me once about her. Mira was very young during the civil war but apparently old enough to throw rocks at Union soldiers as they passed by. Her strong feisty nature was definitely passed on to a few of her daughters.1-DSCF5258

Had I been more prepared with warmer clothes I would have stayed longer but it was a cold day and we had a long drive ahead. Missed during this visit were Mira’s husband, my great-grandfather John Culp Kee, also known as “Kit” and Lilla Renfro Kee, Mira’s sister and wife to her step-son John Jefferson Kee. This just means I need to make another trip, which is just fine with me.

**Union Cemetery is located 1.5 miles north of Gustine, Texas on Highway 36 at the intersection of County Road 1476 in Comanche County. ***