My Annual Michigan Week Trip To The Graveyard

Details of my annual Michigan Week pilgrimage include some interest thoughts from a familiar figure. We also have plenty of OSU-Michigan Tidbits, news and notes from Around the Country, This Week In College Football and a decidedly unfriendly Fearless Forecast.

It very nearly didn't happen this year.

With a new Urban Meyer rumor to chase down virtually every day, family Thanksgiving obligations outside the city and tomorrow's Ann Arbor travel plans to finalize, I very nearly skipped my annual Michigan Week ritual.

Then I thought about how I would feel if I didn't go on my annual pilgrimage, so while everyone else in my family settled in to watch another football game on Thursday evening, I sneaked away to drive past the little white house on Cardiff Road. Then it was on to Ohio Stadium for some reflection before traveling a well-worn path north on Olentangy River Road to Union Cemetery.

I arrived just as darkness was beginning to fall and I knew the cemetery would be closing soon. The freshening breeze caused a swirl of falling yellow and brown leaves as I made my way through the main entrance and down an ever-narrowing blacktopped road to Section 12.

It was a milder-than-usual Thanksgiving Day in central Ohio this year, so I left my coat in the car as I made my way to a familiar place – Lot 37, Space 4 – beneath the large pine trees off to the side of a black granite marker. I soon wished I had taken that coat as a cold wind began to blow, gently as first but growing into a chilly bluster.

I started back to the car when I heard a familiar sound.

"Where do you think you're going?"

Half-startled, I turned around and squinted against the dying daylight. It was the silhouette of a man that has become familiar to me over the years. He was stockily built and slightly hunched over, and as my eyes slowly adjusted to the increasing darkness, I could make out the red windbreaker, the gray trousers, the silver-rimmed glasses and the black baseball cap jammed low over his gray hair. I could also make out an angry scowl, lips tightly pressed together, and a jaw locked firmly into position.

"Where do you think you're going?" he repeated. "I've been waiting for you."

Read the rest by clicking on this link: Rea's Day Blog: Nov. 25.


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