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Friday, April 20, 2007

An Epitaph in Need of an Editor

Evergreen Cemetery in Owego, New York, is running out of room—and no wonder, given that it's home to an inscription "which at 135 words, is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for longest epitaph."

Here is a transcription of the lengthy epitaph penned by E. T. Gibson for his ancestors—taken from this too-small photograph:

Well, we got what was coming to us, and here in this burial plot we lie:—

We fourteen skeletons of Gibsons, Tinkhams, Drakes, Pixleys and Curtises, that once were clothed with flesh and lived and loved and laughed and danced and sang and suffered just like you till the God-created life-transmitting spark that had been passed down to us from its beginning died.

But we were not animals, or insects, or plants, which likewise have their life-transmitting sparks, but beings into whom at our birth had been breathed a soul-entity that came directly from God.

And to him our soul-entities have gone to be dealt with by Him as our treatment of others whom He created deserves.

What think you of these beliefs?
Erected in 1935 by E. T. G.

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