Dalphond Reports Progress on Pioneer Cemetery Terrace Project

Editor’s note: Dr. Dennis Dalphond of North Judson is spearheading the restoration of the stone terrace across from the United Methodist Church on Central Avenue at the north edge of Pioneer Cemetery. We are pleased to share his chronicles of the progress on the project.

This past Friday at 11 a.m., Helen grabbed me to tell me that Marshall Horstman (town superintendent-hereafter known as Marshall Dillon-young people look up “Gunsmoke”–old, old tv series may even have been in black and white) was up front and that he had something for me. Uh-oh i said, ent up front and there he was-dripping wet with sweat with a light dusting of sand.

He held out to me a key on a ring. I asked him what this was, and he said that the key was to open a padlock that would allow us to use the valve that was connected to a water line that had just been installed at the top of the hill at the Pioneer Cemetery. This news almost opened the valve that is connected to my lacrimal glands (these babies make tears).

I removed the key from the ring, put the ring on the fourth finger of his left hand, got down one one knee and asked him to marry me. He said NO. I stood up and moved to hug him and he pushed me away–warning that he was dirty with sand and sweat–I pushed his hands away and gave him a big ‘ole man hug and thanked him from the depths my heart. Helping the Marshall was Randy Schwartz and Jason Manns. I’ve been looking for them to thank them in person-so far no luck.

Tyler Lee and i went over to the site Friday at noon, and there we, to our wondering eyes, were greeted by a big hole, a back-hoe, a meter pit and a fire-engine red water spigot-with that padlock which opened with that key, and the water pressure was impressive. I will post some photos-with Tyler and me-taking our turns sitting in the back-hoe pretending to operate the controls-we may actually did not do that-maybe those photos were photo-shopped and maybe they were not-only Tyler and I know for sure and we ain’t sayin’. I’m just sayin’. sayin’ somethin’ or other-lost my train of thought there for a second.
Stopped in at the Town Hall Monday night to thank the board members-they were kind enough to let me interrupt the public meeting (I may have said something to the effect that i was on the way to the hospital which may or may not have been true-what was true was that i was soaking wet from the downpour outside).
thank you
Marshall Dillon
Jason Manns
Randy Schwartz
The North Judson Town Board
and lastly
The Methodist Church for all the water that we used to get this far


This post is lengthy so be prepared

I am thanking many people who helped out yesterday at TTAAMC. it is a long list, so please note each name. I hope that I have not left anyone out, if so please, please let me know. i apologize for any misspellings. so here it goes

Gary Reedy

Don Bowman

The Korchas’-Bryan, Brianna, Brooke and Kristin

The Burgers’-Trey (proud new Dad) and Gordon (proud new Grandfather)

Levi Fletcher

The Brazauskas’-Jim, Stephanie, Shay, Olivia,Gabe

The Stacys’-Corey, Jasmine, Hudson, Lincoln, Ethan, Jensen, and Cohen

The Clemons’-Jesiah, Amie, Axel, Teia and Cora

The Moerlands’-Joos, Essie and Lina

Mark and Monica Rayburn

Steve Tolle

And finally the leaders of their “pack”-which includes most of the above.

Pastors Larry and Essie Clemons (of the Everlasting River Fellowship). These two are wonderful leaders and their “pack” is made up of gentle, loving and very generous individuals.

Essie had told me, earlier in the week, that members of their church wanted to help so I said “please surprise me with as many folks as can be rounded up” as we will have a lot to do. When I pull up to TTAAFMC on any given Saturday morning I always shut my eyes and lower my expectations as to how many people will be there-sometimes one or two and sometimes it is just me-regardless of how many, I am always grateful for whatever greets my eyes as I open them. Essie surprised me. Indeed. I opened my eyes and saw THIRTY FOUR pairs of eyes-all looking at me-I did not get out of my truck right away as my eyes had some moisture on them-said moisture was not sweat as Ii had done no work yet. Said moisture, Ii believe are called tears.

This is what was accomplished in ONE hour

Dug a trench 16 inches wide, 2 feet deep and NINETY feet long in preparation for the concrete footing for the next wall

Separated top soil from the underlying sand and and placed both in separate piles

Gathered pretty stones and placed them in a pile for easy access down the road

Gathered massive chunks of concrete (left over from the curb when it was replaced years ago) and placed them in there own BIG pile-this stuff will, eventually, need to be hauled away

Then Mr. Don Bowman suggested that we might prepare the form for the concrete footing. I groaned quietly as I was quite tired at that point because the week just finished at the office had been quite challenging. The weeks vacation in Myrtle Beach with the kids and grandchildren was wonderful but, if you play u r going to pay when u get back and pay we did-m’ladies and I were run off of our feet all last week. But everyone else seemed to be up for it. So we drove our trucks over to Norwayne Lumber (so nice to have that lumber yard so close to home) where Mr. Jim Menis greeted us with a smile (he is a very, very good man-we do not know of all the good deeds he does-many of those good deeds he does without being asked-our town is very fortunate to have such a hard working, generous and community-minded individual) and picked up the necessary supplies-180 feet of 1×6 boards, 180 feet of rebar, 36 two-foot stakes and 50 risers, went home (so nice to live one block away from TTAAFMC) and grabbed a couple of drills and many screws and went back to prepared that form.

All of that took an additional hour and 10 minutes, and now all is ready for next Saturday, when concrete will be mixed and placed in that form. Then I went home and took a very, very long nap.

we all had a great time-oh… i almost forgot-M warned me to “watch my mouth” as cussing to me is like breathing-so I told the people there what she had said and they all laughed. I told them not to laugh as I  do use “colorful” (?) language, but they kept on laughing. Anyhoo-i did my best, and Pastor Clemons complimented me, at the end of the work, on the restraint I had shown.

Finally and at last I just want to say that our experience that morning was gratifying and fun. I think I now know what a “Barn Raising” was like-hard work, fine people and fun…oh.. and gum and Spider Man and Cinderella stickers.

Thank you all