Ellen and Grandma Hickok at the Cemetery

Every Memorial Day, my grandmother Gertrude Hickok brought flowers to decorate family graves at Woodlawn Cemetery in Shawano, Wisconsin. The cemetery was a couple of miles away, so her friend and neighbor Elsie drove her out there. Elsie also had family graves to decorate.

Then Elsie died, so Grandma asked my sister Ellen if she would bring her to the cemetery. Ellen was very happy to agree.

On Memorial Day, Ellen drove the 37 miles from Green Bay to Shawano to pick up Grandma and take her to the cemetery. It turned out to be much more than merely putting flowers at each tombstone. Grandma had 15 or 16 potted plants to be planted.

At each grave, Grandma told Ellen something about the ancestor who was buried there. Ellen had never even heard of most of the people and she was very moved by the whole experience.

As they headed toward the car, Ellen said, "Grandma, I'm so happy you asked me to come with you today. It's been wonderful and I see a beautiful sunset that's the perfect ending to this wonderful day!"

Grandma smiled and said, "Ellen, you're looking south and that's the Hardee's sign."

The moral is: A Hardee's sign is a beautiful sunset when seen through tears.

Next: Before he became a famous humorist, H. Allen Smith couldn't get to work on time.
Mr. Smith Is Late for Work