In the graveyard, shadowy figures talk about the lives of the dead

WARRENSBURG The inscriptions on a typical cemetery headstone seem to leave one with more questions than answers. It is easy to forget that the dash between the dates signifies a human beings existence, complete with experiences, loves and tragedies. Surely, a glance at the stone can afford the curious observer information that may be useful when attempting to delve into the life of a departed soul. But wouldnt it be nice if those buried adjacent to those stones could fill in the blanks, or more accurately, fill in the dash? Onlookers were allowed the next best thing Friday night at the Warrensburg Cemetery as the Warrensburg Historical Society held their eighth annual Graveyard Walk. Their stroll through the 160-year-old Warrensburg cemetery consisted of actors and history enthusiasts portraying deceased Warrensburg residents at the graves where they are buried. We think the graveyard walk is an interesting way to contextualize a life, said Historical Society President Delbert Chambers. It is after all, our responsibility as a society to discover and disseminate the history of the town we learn so much about our history as we prepare for this event. As the groups of onlookers made their way through the old section of the cemetery, they encountered lone figures in the dark, often perched behind the stone which bears the name of those they represent. As if rising from the grave, the actors painstakingly told the life story of selected deceased citizens, paying close attention to known or likely personality traits. Whether it was Civil War veteran, noted inventor and insatiable prankster Captain Samuel Moses or early-20th-Century aristocrat Adelia Thomas Reoux, those depicted ranged from humble to narcissistic, from ambitious to content, but without exception, all led lives that forever shaped the community. Selecting who we are going to portray each year requires a lot of brainstorming and committee work, said Historical Society member and researcher Rita Ferraro. We look for colorful people who also made a real impact on the town. The walk is part of the historical societies continued campaign to build community pride, event co-founder Sandy Parisi said. Last Fridays night walk was the second event in the With the Dead series for 2008 and with all 64 tickets sold, which made it a huge success, Chambers said. Another walk will be held 7 p.m. Fri. Oct. 31 at the Warrensburg Cemetery with desserts to follow. For more information contact Marilyn Hayes at 623-3436. Tickets for the Halloween walk are $6.

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