Saturday, October 5, 2013

36810. Henry Benner


So what was it that so disheartened Henry and Addie? The wife predeceased the husband by seven years, which is always a downer, in either direction. And who was the epitaph for, Addie or Henry?

The words are original, in that they are not from a hymn, nor from a poem of the time. The closest reference I can think of comes years later, from Pink Floyd.

I'm guessing it was Henry. When Addie died in 1908 there was not much happening that would call for such dour words as are found on the stone. Heck, the ball dropped in Times Square for the first time ever on January 1. National Monuments were being named all over the place. Postage stamps came in rolls for the first time. What a world! Mother's Day was celebrated for the first time ever, on May 10. Henry Ford built the first Model T.

But as for Henry, who died in 1915, he had some ammunition. On January 11, Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Colonel Tillinghast Huston purchased the New York Highlanders, kickstarting the Yankees baseball dynasty (hey, Henry and Addie had to be Boston Americans fans, right?). The next day, the House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote. The day after that an earthquake in Italy killed nearly 30,000 people. And did I mention there was a World War going on? And it goes on.

So when Henry died, the words on the stone were certainly appropriate: "Good bye sad world good bye."

Of course, it could have had nothing to do with world events, but I don't have time to research anything beyond the superficial. There are many more stones to read, miles to go before I sleep.

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