St. John in the Wilderness Cemetery – Upstate New York Vacation 2014 – Part 4 of 4

St. John in the Wilderness Cemetery, Lake Clear, N.Y.  (Aug 15, 2014)

St. John in the Wilderness Cemetery, Lake Clear, N.Y. (Aug 15, 2014)

After visiting Ausable Chasm, the St. Lawrence River, and Boldt Castle, we made a drive past the old homestead and surrounds, including visiting one of NYS’s fish hatcheries (I used to bike down to the “Adirondack Fish Hatchery,” as it is now called, as a kid; there was no fence, then, and I’d walk among the pools of little fishies), and the local cemetery.

I like visiting cemeteries…I know, sooner or later it won’t be a “visit” (not that I plan on being buried), but I like them for several reasons. Anyway, I realized I’d never documented the cemetery I grew up near, in Lake Clear, N.Y.

The cemetery is part of the church we used to attend for part of my childhood (my family and I are no longer Catholic), and happened to be a short bike ride down the road from where we lived, the church located at 6148 State Route 30, Lake Clear, NY 12945. The cemetery is located in the opposite direction, to Lake Clear Junction, where you take a left (remaining on Route 30), then drive up just a touch, and you’ll see it on your right, just before the turn-off for the dump.

Anyway, I know—knew—several interred here. One was a childhood friend (Dirk Ewan), and one was Mr. Hohmeyer, whom I’ve talked about before. Dirk was three years older than me and a big dude. He was 17 when he died. I remember him having been a gentle soul…an extremely kind-hearted individual…which is rare in a strapping, seventeen-year-old (I could be wrong, but my young-self’s recollections seem to recall him being kinda big). His mom was a friend of my mom, and he and his family used to come down to the lake and hang out with us. Dirk, however, would never go into water above his shins. He was deathly afraid of it, and made no bones about it.

In 1974, he drowned.

An accident, but he drowned.

The Trapl’s lived down a little way from us, past the church. When dad had had a landscaping business (additional job, he was still a Forest Ranger), I’d go with dad helping out in any way I could, digging, muscling trees and such around, chopping out tree trunks. That last part involved Mr. Trapl. He labeled his place, “Trapl’s Yalna.” I don’t know what that means, nor the language. Google Translate said it detected the language “Azerbaijani,” and translated it into “just.” Anyway, one later afternoon-into-early-evening we’d been down there trying our damnedest to remove a tree trunk. As some may know, you don’t just “remove” tree trunks. Their roots extend at least as far down as their foliage extends upward. But we did our best, into the darkness, employing my dad’s truck, chains, and grit. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember having completed that job, but we gave it our best. We might have just cut around the visible roots and had been done with it, but I just remember all the grit and effort with my dad, and how cool it was, and that we were working into the “fall of darkness”!

One of our family members was buried (or died) here, May 7, 1968. There used to be a temporary marker. It’s long since gone.

I went to school with one of the Sayles family.

There were a couple other family names I recognized, but didn’t recognize the interred individuals.

Except for more gravestones, it looks near exactly what it looked like when I lived there (sixties and seventies), except there was no chain link fence around the back…not sure about the front, but I don’t remember one, and it really wouldn’t make sense to have a fence in the front, if there wasn’t one surrounding its perimeter.

The only other memory I have concerning this cemetery is an amusing, odd one: I was 18 and was driving alone to the dump with a load, and as I passed this cemetery, the new (at the time, 1979) Styx (one of my favorite bands at the time) tune, “Renegade” popped on the radio. I thought that was “coincidental” at the time, which I would now term “synchronistic.”

Oh mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law
Lawman has put an end to my running and I’m so far from my home
Oh mama, I can hear your crying you’re so scared and all alone
Hangman is coming down from the gallows and I don’t have very long….”

Next post: Donnelly’s Corners—the best soft ice cream ever!



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About fpdorchak

Speculative and paranormal fiction author. Please check out my website: Thank you for stopping by!
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8 Responses to St. John in the Wilderness Cemetery – Upstate New York Vacation 2014 – Part 4 of 4

  1. karen lin says:

    Coincidence/synchronicity… all so weird ay? And to be afraid of water and die by drowning? He may have seen into the future or he may be repeating his fate over and over, as if the universe wants him to get over it… or maybe he killed someone else in another life with water somehow… or was tortured by near drowning… or something. I have a few fears (or extreme discomforts that are way too strong for what they are and no logical cause in my background…) and I can’t help but think it is remnant from another time. I told you about the dismemberment one (laughter) and maybe my other two – being pinned down – even playfully, on land or under water – and being cold. I wonder if I died in an avalanche.

    I love cemeteries. Unfortunately Wen doesn’t. There are all kinds of superstitions (Chinese) around them. That is why it became a theory when Zach had “symptoms” of “entity possession” after he took photos in a graveyard, then the inspiration of my first film script. 🙂 May have to have my party in January after that contest put me in crunch mode up until Dec 15.

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