Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - William Kelly and Sina Bellinger Kelly

This is the tombstone of my grandparents, William Leroy Kelly and Sina Harriet Bellinger Kelly. They are buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Greenwood, Cass county, Nebraska.

Unfortunately, the year of Bill Kelly's birth is incorrect on the stone. He was actually born in 1892, based on earlier contemporary records.

How does something like this happen? When asked his age, Grandpa Kelly always replied that he was "nine years older than the year it is." Well - that was true for half of the year. Since he was born July 7, for the rest of the year, he was eight years older than the year it was. When it came time to have the tombstones made, my mother and her siblings based the year of his birth based on his claim of "nine years older than the year it is," so, the tombstone is incorrect.

One of the funniest memories I have of my childhood was hanging out with Grandpa Kelly as he did work for the village of Greenwood. I was tagging along one time while he and a teenage helper were doing some work at the cemetery. I dragged along my life-sized "dancing doll." These were about three-feet tall and had elastic on their feet which you strapped around your feet to dance with the doll.

At some point, I must have gotten tired of carrying the doll around with me, so I sat her on top of a gravestone. Grandpa's young helper turned around and got a glimpse of the doll, immediately thinking he had just seen a ghost! He went running away as fast as his long, skinny legs would carry him. Grandpa laughed and laughed over that one!

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