Reese Morrison adjusts an enlarged newspaper photo of Col. Douglas and Catherine Clarke Morrison above their graves in Saturday's Cemetery Walk. Behind him is Reece Fauscett, who played the part of the Colonel, and at right Patti Nethery, who acted as Mrs. Morrison. Mrs. Morrison only died in 1990, and Ms. Nethery relayed not just historical research but childhood memories of her and the Colonel, whom his wife called "Froggy." At far right is Joy Odom, an organizer of this event and the writer of the excellent "Battlefield" Civil War series published gratefully in this newspaper.
The volunteer researchers and actors of the Dade County Historical Society work hard organizing their cemetery walks, and this year heaven smiled on their endeavors, blessing them with perfect May weather and scores of appreciative audience members for their impersonations of notable Dade citizens.
The characters reenacted during this year's Brock/Morrison Cemetery Walk were famous author George Washington Harris (Tom Randolph); Col. Douglas E . Morrison (Reece Fauscett);
Catherine Clarke Morrison (Patti Nethery); and Dr. James Russell Brock (Reese Morrison). The other actors are pictured above. At right, Tom Randolph
poses as Harris, a pro-slavery writer who was buried in the Brock/Morrison cemetery though he was unrelated to either family. His grave was located only about 10 years ago by a college history professor and his students as part of a research project. (The monument was put up only then.)
But perhaps the most engaging performance of the afternoon was not of a bygone Morrison but by a living one: Ray Morrison (above, left) regaled the cemetery-goers with a rousing version of Ode an die Freude,
the Ode to Joy of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony--on his trusty harmonica. If you weren't there--well! Words fail. It was just one of those small perfect moments at the center of the universe.
In any case, audience members seemed to appreciate the performances and to enjoy ambling through the scenic hilltop graveyard, particularly those prudent enough to have equipped themselves with sensible shoes. Astonishingly, these included Dade's beloved public library manager Marshana Sharp, whose penchant for altitudinous footwear has been well-documented in these pages. To the May 18 outing Ms. Sharp wore not her customary perilous stilettos but the cheerfully hued sneakers depicted herein.
So! A good time was had by all, and thanks a million to the Dade Historical Society for providing the county such amusement and edification on a Saturday afternoon.