Thank you for the article "Where the Bodies Are Buried" (10/29/10). What a surprise to see these exciting tales! I was riding my bike past the graveyard on Monday morning and noticed the tombstone markers - which made me think about my own life's journey.
These stories you mention were highly interesting. Your subhead got it right: "Madison's most striking tombstones confer an eerie immortality."
I think these stories are special gems and most definitely Halloween tales to share with our friends and family at this time of year.
Michael A. Walker
Token Creek also has a very old cemetery. The inscriptions on the tombstones are badly fading. Many of them date before 1870 and carry the names of War of 1812 and Civil War veterans and children who died too young. Some carry what appears to be an older symbol: a tree with overhanging branches like those on weeping willows. My guess is that it is the "Tree of Life," perhaps a symbol of eternal life.
Clarification regarding Linda Falkenstein's article on tombstones: UW President Conrad Elvehjem did not die at home. In July 1962, he was stricken with a fatal heart attack in his Bascom Hall office and subsequently died at Madison General Hospital.
By happenstance, I was a bystander on the scene and helped load the stretcher carrying him into the UW police cruiser that conveyed him to the hospital the morning of his untimely passing.
A bah humbug to Hippie Christmas
Getting rid of the overtime for "Hippie Christmas" garbage pickup is a great idea (Madison.gov, 10/22/10)! $25,000 could pay a city employee's salary for a year, or cover some overtime during plowing season.
Here's another idea: Why not just fine these people who fling their old Christmas decorations, broken dishes, mismatched shoes, etc., right onto the curb without using garbage bags? If they want to turn their neighborhood into a pigsty, by all means let them wallow in it for three weeks.