scraggly brush on the other side of the hill. Fred and I sat with some difficulty on the box of dynamite and managed to keep it from bouncing completely out of the back of the Jeep. The old Jeep’s war siblings in the Philippines during WWII had not likely faced such obstacles this one did on our mountain roads around Gimlet Hollow. Bumpy rides were nothing new to Fred, who kept glancing down at box on which he sat. He was obviously captivated with the dynamite. When unable to restrain himself any longer, he finally asked Uncle Corny where he had gotten an entire case of dynamite. Corny replied that a friend of his had plenty of it and used it for farming. Fred and I looked at one another as if to ask each other what use dynamite might have for growing corn and potatoes, but we let it pass.
The so-called road became narrower and steeper and ended up being just two nearly indiscernible ruts with a few sparse clumps of grass growing between them. Finally, at the end of the ruts, we saw a barbed wire fence and a number of old moss-covered headstones beyond. We parked the Jeep and climbed over the side to explore the overgrown cemetery. According to Fred, he had paid about twenty-five dollars for Maw’s plot back in 1942, right after great grandpa Lewis Bailey, Maw’s husband, had passed away. She, of course, had decided that, once her time came, she would be buried right beside him. Therefore, we all set out searching to find Lewis’ tombstone. After about twenty minutes of searching, during which there were many calls of, “Come, looky here. I’d forgotten about old Jessie” and “Hey, Corny, come ‘ere. What do you think this one says? It’s kinda hard to read.” Dad finally shouted from the far side of the cemetery to Uncle Corny and Fred that he had located what we had been looking for. Great grandpa Lewis’ tombstone wasn’t very grandiose, but looked like most of the others surrounding it. It was made of cement, not marble, and had the name and dates written on it by hand. Many of the graves had no tombstone at all, but contained just what was called a fieldstone, which was used to mark the grave’s location. Luckily, there
did appear to be an available space beside Lewis. Dad and Corny walked back to the Jeep to get the picks and shovels, while Fred and I began to pull the weeds and vines from the ground where we were going to dig the grave. It didn’t appear that there was a strict adherence to uniformity in laying out the graves in rows. They were simply fitted into spaces that were the most suitable at the time. The early graves were placed under the largest trees or closest sheltering rock. As the cemetery had gradually filled with the old pioneers who had settled in the hollow, the less desirable areas began to be used. Still, there looked to be plenty of open spaces for future tenants.