Sunday, August 25, 2013

Quik Clean and Stealth Opening

Since we didn’t open the cemetery last Saturday (a 3rd Saturday) because of horrible weather about an hour earlier, we decided to open yesterday.  This time, we combined preservation and historical tourism:  one group worked on cleaning or restoring different sites, while another group tended to the table at the entrance and welcomed visitors.

During the 2 hours we were open, we got about 75 visitors, all of them very happy to discover that the cemetery was open.  Tours were on an irregular, as-needed basis, but visitors also had more time to ask for an in-depth explanation of different aspects of the cemetery, and several of us spent more than 30 minutes each with different interested visitors.

Meanwhile, others labored as you see below, where Patti Kelbert (owner of Le Pavillon) takes a wire brush to one of the posts on the Hernandez enclosure.

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Missing are photos of Bob Kennedy, carefully weeding every square centimeter of the Benet enclosure; Mary Jane Ballou helping Priscilla de la Cruz clean out the dreaded area behind the chapel; Louise Kennedy leading people around; Nick McAuliffe and Janet Jordan and Bob taking the truck out to pick up crushed shell for covering the enclosures that Priscilla de la Cruz weeded (see below). But that all happened, and it was a really nice day for all.

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It was so much fun that we’ve decided that in the future, we’re going to combine preservation with interpretation, and we hope to get some people out to work on different things while others lead tours.  Or they can trade back and forth!

If you’re interested, get in touch (

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Home Repairs

Everybody – the hardworking TCPA volunteers and docents in particular – will be very happy to know that we got the gate fixed up today.  Steve from Brock Fence came out and rehung it with new hardware, straightened the barbed wire and the chain link, put in a drop post so we can close half of it at a time, and in general made it a functioning gate again.  No more will it take three people to get the gate closed after our Open Day!

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Steve did a great job and this is going to be a big improvement.  We’re planning on replacing the entire gate, of course, but that’s a project that won’t happen overnight.  In the meantime, we’ll enjoy our “new” gate – which was probably first installed over 60 years ago, in the 1940s or 1950s.  So all things considered, it hasn’t done a bad job.

Below is the new drop bar and hook. This may not look very exciting, but if you’ve ever had to hold one half of the very heavy and crooked gate closed with your foot while attempting to capture the other part with the chain and padlock, you’ll appreciate how wonderful this is!

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