The Naked and the Dead

This is part V (sorry for those of you in my reader who saw this as Part III and were thinking I already say this; chalk that up to a great cut and paste job by yours truly) of an intermittent series on “Things You Didn’t Know About Your Local Library,”: Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV….and on a totally unrelated note, my wife, my sister and I have started a group blog over on posterous called The Collective for silly little things and thoughts that happen throughout our days that don’t really fit on our regular blogs. Stop by, if you like. If you don’t, well, then screw you. 😉

In the first few posts of this series, I’ve been in the basement of our local library a lot. Today, I’d like to take you to the second floor of our library, where we keep old newspapers from our area in bound books among other classified documents about which I’m not allowed to tell you.

Most of the time the public isn’t allowed to touch these because the papers are so brittle from age. However, this past Saturday, I was granted a special dispensation from one of the librarians not only to touch the papers, but also to take photos of them (whoa!). Specifically, I was taking photos of obituaries from old newspapers for family who might be researching genealogy.

While I tried not to get distracted by the other items in the papers (for example, ads like you’d see at Kitchen Retro, which, by the way, I love), and tried to keep my mind focused on the task at hand, I confess that once in a while, my eyes did drift to items such as this:

1913 Agitator 037

Wait for it! Wait for it! Yep, you got it.

I also came across this item, which I almost thought was an obituary until I read a little bit further:

1913 Agitator 036

While again there is the use of that word, what really piqued my interest as a former English major (obviously that has gone to the wayside since then, I mean, look at my breaking up this sentence with this long run-on and then putting it in parentheses, which is a major faux pas) was the first part of the first sentence: “As an undertaker was preparing to embalm his body….”. I tried to imagine the undertaker readying his own body for the grave as if in some gruesome episode of “Six Feet Under,” but stopped after thinking about it for only a moment…

…although in a way, not to bring this party down, but we all have to ready our own bodies for the grave, don’t we?

So people get ready…