TSGS Cruiser Blog

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"The Great Pitchfork Incident"

If you do research in Vanderburgh County, IN, then you must have looked at the two volumes of the county's smaller cemeteries compiled by Carol Lantaff and Glenda Trapp. When you worked with Glenda in the cemeteries transcribing tombstone records you were either crazy with a boring life or you came along to do some important work and have a good time doing it. Glenda was extremely meticulous in getting the stones read accurately and would often return to a cemetery numerous times to ensure its accuracy. She was perhaps the best there was in being able to cipher out the impossible to read markers. She would amaze us all when she would tell us what a blank stone had cleverly hidden from us at first glance. She would outline the letters and suddenly, like magic the names and dates would seem to jump out at us. She had fun doing this work, but she took it seriously. She would have us probe the top soil with rods looking for covered fallen stones, and when we found one the work began to dig it up and usually lift it up to be read.

I remember one time in particular when we were working in Union Township in an old cemetery that was flooded often each year by the Ohio River. We were probing for the covered markers. I was busy digging up a found marker and Bonnie Fehd, Glenda's sister-in-law, and Glenda was working behind me. Bonnie was working hard using a pitchfork to probe the topsoil. She was finding tombstones faster than we could dig them up, the pitchfork really worked well. Suddenly I heard this scream!!! I turned around and Bonnie was white with shock. She had accidently plunged the pitchfork into Glenda's sneakers (shoe). One of the tines went through the top of her canvass shoe and through the sole of the shoe and several inches into the ground. Glenda did not know what had happened until she tried to move her foot. It seems the tine went right between her toes without even a scratch. After we realized that Glenda was alright we laughed until tears came to our eyes. I mentioned that something had happened with a pitchfork in a cemetery in one of my President's columns of the Packet years ago, but never told what happened, so TSGS members now you know the rest of the story!

1 comment:

J. Trapp said...

Haha My mother was Glenda Trapp! I heard that story so many times before she passed away!