… in a manner of speaking.
Outside of my apartment, there’s one building that I pass by foot and automobile more than any other in town:
The historic C.C. Mellinger funeral home.
Half a block from my residence, the family-run mortuary was built in 1909; it seemed a classy operation. It hosted at least one VIP funeral — nearly the town’s entirely police force was present at the service for a 35-year-old officer who died of a kidney ailment resulting from yellow fever contracted while serving our country overseas during World War II:
The home also serviced the community with shiny hearse and a special car that carried flowers to funerals:
The adjoining chapel, erected in 1919 and a stone’s throw from my dark cold hovel, never fails to escape my vision, its steeple piercing past the low skyline into the indeterminable gray sky:
I can’t help but be intrigued by the spirits and grief and prayers and secrets contained behind the chapel’s tight-lipped window:
Time marches on. The funeral home is no longer. No matter how often I pass, the sign never fails to elicit a chuckle … now serving the community like a very wayward McDonald’s: