Storm clouds circle the Village of Hur, where
the stalwart and respectful rest quietly ...
... a reminder of a time and place where
people and community were once connected
By Bob Weaver 2008
Aging brings an awareness that most of the people who made their mark on one's life have died, a loss of being left behind to endure without their presence to face the joys and sorrows of daily experience.
Here in the Village of Hur, nearly all of my previous generation are gone, family members, neighbors and those fabulous community characters, which for reasons not quite understood, no longer dot the landscape.
Visiting the Hur Cemetery last evening, there was the stark realization that most of our stalwart reside there, including those characters that have become legendary in our storytelling.
Our lives seem less meaningful, dedicated, or work-hardy.
It may simply be that we are less connected to one another, or for that matter, connected to the earth upon which we stand.
It is the decline of community - centralizing, merging, consolidating and globalizing. We're told that market forces are driving such changes, and the change will be good for us.
It may be that 21st century technology - mass media, satellite TV, cell phones, and video games, connects us to visual and auditory images, information and commerce.
Those things appear somewhat tangible, but missing could be a story flowing from a neighbors mouth, the touch of a friends hand, going to the community church, or the connectedness to the earth and the means for independent survival.
A result is the decline of civility and respect, a commodity that seems more rare as time moves on.
Phyllis and Tap Kerby spent the last few days trying to collect a few bucks to keep the Hur Cemetery mowed, and their daughter Ronda Rose was dutifully yelling at her kids to not injure themselves riding bikes in the road.
Later in the day, Ronda had ice cream and cake as Rev. Bob Duskey and Rev. Gene Kerby, both Hurites and relatives by marriage, returned for a visit, with Foster Kerby, Roane County school's hi-tech wizard, stopping by.
Most noticeable was the old and infirm who stopped at the cemetery. They had to be helped from their cars, walking with canes and helping hands, carrying flowers to the graves of their loved ones who are buried on the hilltop.
They still have that civility and respect, even for the dead.