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Ghost Walk tales include truth, lye

Hanging out in a cemetery can really make my thoughts come alive.There’s that looming fear I’ll spend the rest of my life alone and have no one to bury me. And that creepy worms-crawling-around-underground thing.I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t care at that point.I should probably clarify why I was hanging out in a cemetery recently. Sunday night I took the Frontier Historical Society’s Ghost Walk up to Linwood Cemetery, the graveyard formerly known as Pioneer Cemetery. During the Ghost Walk, actors and storytellers don period dress and talk about their lives in Glenwood before they succumbed to the Big D.And I don’t mean Dallas.Or divorce for that matter although it can feel a lot like it sometimes.My favorite character was Doc Holliday. In a gun-toting, card-playing, whiskey-drinking kind of way, he seemed like my kind of guy.That’s how I like my dentists.Another pioneer I enjoyed learning about was Beulah Rowden, played by Amber Kight. Beulah was a 12-year-old girl from Glenwood who died back in 1912 after drinking lye to get back at her mom.That takes “I hate you” and “I wish I was never born” teenage angst to a whole other level. Beulah’s story reminded me of a near-death experience I nearly almost had. When I was about 4 or 5, I drank bleach.That explains a lot.Unlike Miss I’ll-show-you Beulah Rowden, I didn’t drink toxic cleaner on purpose, though. I think I was pretending to be Superwoman or something and I needed a drink of some liquid to ignite my special powers. I thought this coffee cup that was being bleached had water in it, so I took a big gulp.That is not the best part of waking up.A quick call to poison control thanks to the handy black and green Mr. Yuk sticker on the bleach bottle and several glasses of milk later, I was all right.But not without a throat as raw as Eddie Murphy’s stand-up routine and a fire raging deep in the pit of my stomach. And really, really white teeth.Crest White Strips are a whole lot safer on the ol’ digestive system.Hearing Beulah’s story made me pretty glad I didn’t lose my cool when I was 12 and pull a Juliet. I was pretty mad when I didn’t get my first pair of parachute pants until after they went on clearance. Luckily, I kept my cool.After relaying my bleach-drinking story to Kendra, she upped the ante a bit. “At least you didn’t use bleach to wash your parents’ car,” she said.Oh, if she only knew. It was bad enough I backed into my dad’s car on more than one occasion in our driveway. But bleach to his paint job?My dad would have sent me on a Ghost Walk.

April E. Clark recommends the Ghost Walk to anyone who loves local lore and isn’t afraid to hang out in a cemetery at night. She can be reached at 945-8515, ext. 16601.


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