Sunday May 27th; An annual tradition in my wife’s family, the day before Memorial day, is to come down out of the mountains into the flatlands to the small town of Hygiene, Colorado. The purpose of this journey is to pay respect to our ancestors. This type of event is foreign to me as I have no recollection of visiting any graves on my side of the family. This is not a unique situation to some one with the convoluted upbringing that was my childhood.
Anyway I digress, this day my wife, daughter and I join the family, a first for myself and my daughter my wife having participated in the past. We leave at dawn and meet up with others in Boulder for breakfast then it’s off to several nurseries for fresh flowers for the cemetery that allows them and a hobby store for plastic flora for the one that doesn’t. The next stop after that is the Hygiene cemetery, a small plot of land with no water and scant funds for upkeep.We clean the sites of my grandfather and grandmother-in laws along with Grandpa Jack’s brothers who were both killed in World War 2. This unfortunate turn of events kept Jack out of harms way for the remainder of the war and quite possibly was the reason the family grew to what it is today.
Fate is fickle, when you realize the countless circumstances that have happened for any of us to be alive today.
Once again I digress, the reason I’ve called ya’ll here today is to relate what happened next, after the housekeeping and the stories told, I started wandering, although I have no memory of visiting the deceased from my family tree that does not infer that I am a stranger to the final resting places of the dead, quite the opposite, I’ve been drawn to them my entire adult life. The older the better, the more neglected the sweeter. This cemetery was right up my alley. Names play a huge part in my fascination as does the somewhat neat rows with a beautiful headstones next to a broken shards of flagstone, next to the countless infant graves that haunt me as I’m transported to a time that chills my bones.
As with all small prairie/pioneer towns some families were more prodigious then others. I started to see an unusual amount of marble with the name of Bashor inscribed on one side of the cemetery, then on further investigation I found more on the other side as well. These Bashors were everywhere, quite a few men with the first name of Harvey, there was a Gertie an Olive and countless other names not heard any more, but I still was most fascinated by the Bashors they must have founded the town single-handily.
Our next stop is the Longmont cemetery, now this is what I call 5 star luxury accommodations, we visit more relatives here, clean the sites, plant flowers, tell stories and I’m off again exploring this beautiful place. My mother-in law spy’s some unusually colored flowers (peonies) near a lady diligently cleaning the headstone with glass cleaner and she obscures the name. As stated before, these names hold a peculiar fascination with me so my daughter and I walk closer and I see a B, first thought that goes through my head is wouldn’t that be cool if it said Bashor, but that would be highly unlikely. As the gal moves I see an A and I swear my heart jumped a beat! I had my kid move closer as to not scare the #!@% out of this woman. She came running back to me and said, “It says Bashor daddy.” Now to clarify, we are not that far from the first cemetery (a few miles) but this cemetery is huge and the coincidence gives me chills (chills in the graveyard… sounds like a song hmmmm). I gather courage and walk up to this woman and relate my knowledge of the Bashors in Hygiene and sure enough there one in the same. This is her husband’s plot and the only Bashor here
I call my father-in law who spent part of his youth in Hygiene over to meet her and they end up remembering people from the past, were taking 65 years ago, this just blew my mind. Finally the whole family is there and getting a run down on the Bashor’s history in the area, which unfortunately is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say it was an interesting and cosmic afternoon.