Author Topic: Libby's Loving Husband  (Read 2866 times)

Offline feadog

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Libby's Loving Husband
« on: March 25, 2009, 06:52:31 PM »

Libby's Loving Husband

When in my early teens my father was stationed at Naval Air Station, Miramar, San Diego, California.  My mother and I had only been in the states for a year and my father and I were still getting to know one another. The area and desert lands around there were as different from Ireland and anything could be. The desert was fascinating to me. We enjoyed exploring it whenever we could. Dad had a friend, a Marine Major named Chuck and Chuck had a son named Joey. The four of us would go exploring together in a couple of war surplus jeeps, lots of water and gasoline. Along with whatever we felt like taking.
Now I called my father "Da" pronounced "dah" it's the Irish way and the name I felt comfortable with. I still had the thick Irish accent, and when excited or mad the only person who could understand me was my mother.
Now Joey called his father "Major". To me it made no sense, it would be as my calling my father "commander". But the two of them seemed comfortable with their relationship, and they did share the love of a father and son. My father would explain it as Chuck is a Marine and Marines are a strange breed.
On one of our joint expeditions to a very remote area, we stopped by what served at times as a water hole, but now was dry. As we ate our snacks we watched a coyote dig about 50 feet from us. Whatever it was digging for interested it more than we did. It totally ignored our being so near. Chuck and my father each tossed a stone at the critter, one stone hitting it in the rump, causing it to yelp. A few more stones and it decided to give up what it was after and to move on to more peaceful surroundings.
The four of us decided to investigate and see what the coyote was digging after. We couldn't see anything so chuck got one of those neat folding shovels from his jeep. After digging down a couple of feet he uncovered the bones of a hand then an arm. After an hour or so of careful digging we had uncovered most of a skeleton, pieces of wood that must have been the coffin. The skeleton still wore the remains of a checkered shirt under a leather vest, boots and the remains of long trousers. Inside one of the pockets of the vest were a few coins. In the other was a gold watch, it remarkably good condition. On the lid of the watch engraving could be plainly seen. It said in a flowing script " To my loving husband, from his Libby". After some cleaning my dad got the lid open and inside was the remains of a tintype, the image long faded. The coins, one penny, two dimes and a nickel, were dated in the early 1890’s.  There was a discussion on what we should do now; Joey and I were part of the decision. At first we though that calling the county sheriff would be best, but then decided that would not be for the best. Libby's husband would probably end up in the county museum where the whole world would gawk at him, he deserved better than that. We then decided we would rebury him properly and make his grave. Chuck and my dad dug a proper grave, deep enough to keep the critters at bay. Joey and I gathered stones to cover the grave. My dad then carved a marker out of one of the old planks from the coffin. We carefully laid the bones into the new grave, trying not to disturb any more that absolutely necessary. We replaced the watch and the coins to their proper pockets. We filled in the grave, covered it with the stones Joey and I had gathered. Then my father placed the marker. He had carved the words " Libby's Loving Husband". Since the land that the grave was on was property of the El Toro Marine air station we did inform the proper command. After their investigation it was decided that the grave should not be disturbed, but left as it is. As far As I know the resting place of Libby's Loving husband is still there and undisturbed.


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