The Stories That Can’t Be Known

On Friday, going to Lancaster for the baseball game, I took the route to Lancaster I rarely take — the back road route to Hallam and Route 30. The intersection of Lombard and Freysville Road is awful, and I’m not sure that that’s even the worst intersection on the route. I wouldn’t let my parents go to Lancaster that way.

But. I passed two churches and cemetery on that route, and since Saturday afternoon was nice — and I had changed my headlight bulb — I would stop at the cemetery and walk around before I went over to Lancaster for the all-you-can-eat barbeque feast.

The cemetery is Freysville Cemetery, and it’s situated between Emanuel United Church of Christ and Zion United Methodist. There’s a third church across the street from Emanuel UCC, too — Emanuel Lutheran.

The cemetery was old. On Facebook I called it “cute” and “quaint.” Some of the headstones went back over two hundred years. Many of the oldest stones were carved in German blackletter, which wasn’t at all surprising as German immigrants were a major factor in the settlement of the Pennsylvania backcountry.

Early 19th-century headstone at Freysville Cemetery, carved in German

But there were also English headstones among the oldest German headstones, such as these.

These stones tell a story, but I don’t know what that story is.

I took photos of them, without really reading them. I noted the carving of the script — English, the use of the long-s — and the surnames on both — Crosbey. They sat side by side. I was more interested in the stone cutting than in the details themselves. The layers in the rock, the flatness of the faces. An expert cut these.

Today, going through my photos, I noticed the details.

On the left, John Crosbey, Jr. Died September 14, 1820, aged 8 years, 4 weeks, 1 day. (Born August 13, 1812, maybe? I was told there wouldn’t be math.)

On the right, Casana Crosbey. Died September 22, 1820, aged 2 years, 6 months.

Eight days apart. Brother and sister, that would be a safe assumption.

Did an illness rip through the family and take them both? Find-a-Grave says there’s another Crosbey in the cemetery, also named John, but he died in 1811 and so couldn’t be the father of either child. At this distance in time, there’s no way to know what happened. The story of these two children, side by side, will remain forever lost.

Headstone for Louise and Mervin Hanes

In the back corner of the cemetery I found this stone. I was drawn to it at first by the inset photograph of the couple. Then I wondered if Louise, who has no carved death date, might still be alive at 100.

She’s not. Louise died in 2005, was cremated, and interred here. I looked it up this afternoon out of curiosity.

Close up of the photograph of Mervin and Louise Hanes on their headstone at Freysville Cemetery
Lovely Couple

Mervin and Louise Hanes, you had good innings.

I patted their headstone and walked away.

I realized yesterday why the trip to Lancaster — which is shorter than my commute to Hunt Valley — feels so much longer.

Route 30 in York County, whether I pick it up on Mt. Zion Road or in Hallam, feels like forever. Route 30 in Lancaster County, once I cross the bridge across the Susquehanna, flies right on by.

I think it’s the bridge.

Also, the fact that 30 is developed all the way from Lancaster to the river while there’s little more than farmland between the river and Mt. Zion Road makes a difference psychologically. York County numbs the mind.

The crowd in Lancaster for the second home game of the season was smaller than opening night. However, I did run into an old acquaintance who seemed overjoyed to see me.

Me and my old buddy Murf of Star Trek: Prodigy.

The all-you-can-eat barbeque was provided by Hess’s Barbeque in the Haller Pavilion above the right field wall. I sat at the railing roughly in the middle of the Ames Construction sign in the photo below.

View of Clipper Magazine Stadium's right field wall and party pavilion from the third base side

There was a good-sized crowd that took advantage of the barbeque ticket offer. While most of the patrons were Lancaster fans, there were at least two groups of York Revolution fans who made the trip across the river to see their team and enjoy the barbeque feast.

Meanwhile, I donned my Harrisburg Senators hat and hoodie for the festivities.

Barbeque, potato salad, and cornbread

The feast was enjoyable! The potato salad and the cornbread were a little sweeter than I like, and the cornbread was also very dry, but it all worked well. I also had cole slaw — it’s underneath the cornbread — and I spooned that into the bun with the barbeque. Plus, soft drinks were free. I definitely got my money’s worth.

Top of the first inning, York at bat

Barbeque and baseball — you really can’t go wrong with that combination.

It felt warm, but when the sun went behind the outfield wall and a light wind through the stadium picked up it became downright chilly. The crowd noticeably thinned as the game went on.

This was a tighter game that Friday night’s blowout. Lancaster scored in the first, York came back to tie, Lancaster went up two on a home run over the Haller pavilion. It moved briskly.

York loaded the bases and scored a run, to pull within one, in the eighth, then Lancaster tacked on an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning, and closed it out for a 5-3 win over their cross-river rivals.

The Barnstormers celebrate their victory on the field while the umpires walk to the clubhouse

After the fireworks show, I drove home. I took some antacid tablets, just to be on the safe side and went to bed.

A good time was had. The food was good. The atmosphere was lovely. If the Barnstormers offer all-you-can-eat barbeque tickets again, I would have to give them serious consideration. 🙂

I was supposed to be in Harrisburg today for the Senators’ game against the Hartford Yard Goats. But the forecast was for it to rain off and on all day, so this morning I exchanged my ticket online for a ticket in two weeks. Which was the right decision — the game started with a rain delay, had another rain delay during play, and went ten innings.

A quiet afternoon at home was a better use of my Sunday, I think.

Published by Allyn Gibson

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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