In this strange new world of Covid-19, I kick myself each time I walk up to a store or restaurant and upon getting within ten feet of the front door/entrance, I realize: “Crap, I forgot my facemask back in the car.”
I’m sure that this same thing has happened to many of you as well. Hey, I’m certainly not adverse to wearing the mask, or upset with the store or even a local, state or federal government entity for making me wear it—just disappointed in myself for not remembering to put it on. Regardless, the extra exercise experienced in making my way to the car, and back, can certainly to a body and mind some good.
I would bet good money that all of us have at least one interesting and entertaining mask story, or will have a few committed to memory when this is all said and over. Grandchildren and great-grandkids of the future will not be able to “social distance” themselves away fast enough from those like myself who will be able to readily “spin yarns” of that crazy year of 2020—made all the more ironic by the number sequence 20/20. It will be remembered as a time reminiscent of “an optometrist’s nightmare,” in which nothing seemed clearly visible or credible to the average human eye.
One of the most unique experiences I’ve had over the past five months was an impromptu hospital visit at the beginning of June. My early morning trip was caused by a painful kidney stone. Thankfully, I remembered my mask on the first try as I was admitted to the local emergency room of the Frederick Health Hospital, or as I still call it—FMH/Frederick Memorial Hospital. The name switched in fall 2019.
It is a surreal experience to find oneself in the emergency room during a worldwide pandemic. I wasn’t thinking to deeply about it at the time as I just wanted the excruciating pain radiating out from my left side to go away. I was, however, so thankful that this malady had held off for a few months as it would have been much more stressful on me had it occurred in late March, April or May, while we were in mandatory quarantine with fear at its zenith.
I learned from physicians and specialists that I required the joyless experience of lithotripsy. This took place a few weeks later. The over-arching takeaway from my kidney stone episode during Covid-19, is that I gained a newfound respect for health workers of all varieties, and their compassion for their jobs. Yes, I’ve been subjected to my share of Greys Anatomy episodes over the years (thanks to my wife, OF COURSE), but those folks in the medical profession are pretty damn special and possess that irreplaceable “superpower”—the ability to ease our pain and suffering to the utmost possible.
In this unique time in our history, the selflessness practiced by doctors, nurses, specialists and others in this profession, is truly on display and being rightly noted and recognized. Mind you, they are not newbies to donning masks, and washing hands as they have been doing it already for quite some time while in the line of duty. In addition, they can’t socially distance as their job requires them to do the opposite—come closer in an effort to find out what is wrong with their patients. This is truly phenomenal when compared to the selfishness many of us have displayed in having to deal with distancing, canceled events and ever-changing rules requiring us to make sacrifices in our traditional way of life.
When I was in the hospital, I certainly had “time to kill,” especially once the pain meds started to kick-in. With smartphone in hand, I started to peck around the Frederick Health organization’s new website. I immediately wanted to see how they handled the institutional history. I had done a story on the hospital’s first president, Emma J. Smith (1843-1915), back in early 2019 for a “Story in Stone” like this one. Miss Smith is buried here in Mount Olivet in Area E/Lot 156. Another interesting page that caught my eye was the hospital’s webpage on nursing. Here is what Cheryl Cioffi, the facility’s Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Nursing Officer, wrote in her letter of introduction:
Each day nurses throughout Frederick Health have the unique opportunity to affect the lives of the patients they care for in real and meaningful ways. The role that nurses play is critical in the delivery of excellent care for our patients and their families. How nurses communicate and collaborate inter-professionally with team members and colleagues both internal and external to Frederick Health lays the foundation for creating a patient and family centered care environment. Our nurses are innovative, skilled professionals who drive evidence-based practice and quality patient care outcomes across our entire system.
As Frederick Health continues to expand and innovate with new medical disciplines, advanced surgical capabilities, and state-of-the-art technology, our nurses will remain central to carrying out our mission and vision. As the landscape of healthcare continues to evolve with an elevated focus on population health, nurses will remain an invaluable driving force behind the superb quality care provided to our community. We strive to provide excellent care that is second to none. We consider it a privilege to care for you and your family, and an honor to be called a nurse.
This was very impressive, especially to a guy riddled with pain and at the mercy of anyone remotely displaying the slightest interest in taking said pain away from me. I soon reminisced about the interest in healthcare and medicine held by my late mother whose favorite professional life work was that of a medical technologist. She headed into this career immediately after high school, enrolling in a two-year accreditation program.
My mom received her med-tech degree and worked in hospital emergency and operating rooms. She also managed blood banks and laboratories, before becoming a hospital administrator and later a healthcare consultant. I fondly recall her nightly tales about work at the dinner table while growing up. She worked at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, and her anecdotes were not for the squeamish as we learned the fates of victims who had accidents of all sorts—especially as experienced by those driving in cars, riding on motorcycles, and standing on skateboards.
Looking back, it must have been her version of “Scared Straight” sessions to help my brothers and I avoid future potential mishaps. These also dissuaded me and my brothers from a job in the medical field. However, all three of my mom’s nieces were inspired by her profession and would become nurses themselves. As I said, the respect is, and has always been, in me for these incredible folks far more talented than I, and possessing much more stressful occupations. When you think about it, what’s the worst that can happen if I make a mistake in performing job duties such as researching and writing about someone. I can’t lose a patient (in the form of a subject), they’re already deceased by the time they hit my proverbial pen!
As my mother had a hand in giving the world more nurses (in the form of her nieces), so did this week’s “person of interest,” Miss Georgianna Houck Simmons. I have mentioned Mrs. Simmons in two previous stories—she was a great early benefactor to town. I wrote a story this past spring in which Mrs. Simmons donated a Frederick City real estate lot in order to preserve, and expand, a small park once located adjacent Carroll Creek and centering on the old Riehl’s Spring.
In my fore-mentioned story about Miss Emma J. Smith, I chronicled the genesis of Frederick Memorial Hospital and the controversial start of Frederick’s first major healthcare center. It featured a battle between the local medical board with its doctors against the lady board of managers who raised the funds to construct and open Frederick City Hospital in 1902. The crux of the problem was sexism, as the male dominated profession of doctors did not want to answer to the ladies who built and planned to manage the hospital. To heighten the situation, the doctors opened their own rival hospital, once located on S. Market Street.
Caught in the middle were the nurses, traditionally female at that time—and a time, I might add, that pre-dated the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Those who are unsure of your civics history, this was the amendment that gave women (of any color) the right to vote. The amendment was ratified on August 18th, 1920.
I’d like to add that the woman who (beginning in 1897) raised nearly $9,000 and donated the land to give Frederick such a hospital, never possessed the legal opportunity to vote in elections during her lifetime. The same holds true for our subject, Georgianna Simmons. This makes their benevolence and accomplishments, along with those of other well-known local ladies like Margaret Scholl Hood and Emily Nelson Ritchie McLean even more impressive.
Georgianna on my Mind
So who the heck was Georgianna Simmons? Well, she donated two lots to the hospital in 1904. These would be utilized in which to build a nursing school, operated in conjunction with the early hospital. Mrs. Simmons was the sister of Emma Houck, who was on the board of directors for the hospital and the Houck family was known to have given generously to the healthcare endeavor. The Georgianna Simmons Nurses Home was completed on July 31st, 1913, and served as a training center for nurses and a home for them while studying.
Work on this novel building was started the previous year.
Georgianna Simmons was born to parents Ezra Houck and Catherine Bentz on August 15th, 1832. The Houcks at the time lived on the old Mill Pond property, northeast of town on Tuscarora Creek and better known today as part of Worman’s Mill. (The farm no longer stands but was known to older residents as the Bowers Farm. The farmhouse would be demolished and became part of the surrounding Worman's Mill development)
Ezra Houck was a successful farmer and businessman. Among his activities were serving as president of the Junior Fire Company (1840-1850) as well as the Farmer's and Mechanic's Bank, Mutual Insurance Company and Frederick and Woodsborough Turnpike Company.
Desiring an opportunity to move his family into town, he bought a familiar Frederick landmark property on N. Market Street. It had been improved with a stately structure thought to have been erected by Richard Potts and located where the patio of Volt Restaurant now stands. Potts’ widow, Eleanor, sold it to Ezra Houck in 1838. I’m assuming the family re-located here at the time of purchase.
Georgianna (aka "Georgie") had ten siblings. She had been named for her grandfather, and an older brother who had passed away in 1833 at the age of five. She received an education in local schools in town, and the family attended Frederick’s German Reformed Church. Georgianna's was a gilded life as her father was one of the wealthiest men in the county, especially while holding down the job as head cashier at the Farmers & Mechanics Bank located less than a block south from the family home.
Georgianna lived at home until her 41st year of age. On December 3rd, 1873, she became the second wife of Simon Cyrus Simmons, a money broker who owned a sizable farm located just south of Buckeystown on the west side of the turnpike.
I'm thinking that Jacob Engelbrecht holds the key to figuring out perhaps how Georgianna met Mr. Simmons. He appears to have owned the dwelling across from the Mutual Savings Institution at which her father worked. The Frederick diarist mentions Mr. Simmons in May, 1871:
“Mr. S. Cyrus Simmons purchased the small brick house opposite the savings institution and has raised it to 3 stories and also an open front for broker office.”
This farm, which Georgianna made her new home, is still in operation today and known as Mayne’s Tree Farm which has specialized in growing/selling Christmas trees for as long as I can remember.
Sadly for our subject, married life was short as her husband died in October 1877, not allowing the couple the opportunity to celebrate their fourth anniversary. The farm stayed in the Simmons family and Simon Cyrus was buried next to first wife Anna Maria “Mary” Mantz Jackson (1793-1870) in a family plot located in Area H/Lot 257. Incidentally, Mr. Simmons was the third husband of “Mary” for those keeping score at home.
Georgianna had to find a new home as Springdale was not leaving the Simmons clan. I’m assuming that she likely welcomed a return to the Houck homestead on N. Market Street in town. Other siblings still lived at home. Her father died the next year and is buried beneath a very impressive obelisk monument on Area F/Lot 84. Georgianna’s mother would serve as head of household in the 1880 census but died in 1886.
Speaking of households, my amazing research assistant, Marilyn Veek, found a 1949 Frederick News article that talks about how the six Houck daughters built what is now the Volt building next door to their old house. (Note: I will place this find at the end of this story.) Many of us remember this as the Frederick Professional Building long before Brian Voltaggio and his “cooking and culinary prowess” moved in. I went to my beloved, and longtime dentist, Robert E. Broadrup, here in this building.
The old house that originally served home to the Houck family was torn down to build the new structure. Don't worry, the ladies certainly didn't have to rough it as they found temporary lodging at the City Hotel while the construction was being done. The six sisters built what architectural design deems a Richardsonian Romanesque masterpiece building. It would be a fitting home for a future “Top Chef.” And for those who continue to compliment me on my smile, the credit solely goes to the late Dr. Broadrup, a man who was undoubtedly in the same ilk as Brian Voltaggio as a stellar, seasoned professional who could easily wear the moniker of “Top Dentist.”
Now back to Georgianna Simmons for a quick life update. Without a husband, she could join her maiden sisters in figuring out a way to spend their inheritance, and in the process, improve their hometown. Luckily, Emma J. Smith and the hospital project would win Georgianna’s interest.
As I wrote in my earlier story on Miss Smith regarding the hospital:
“Emma and her lady Board of Managers worked earnestly to fund the hospital project. They went door-to-door, approached businesses and lobbied the state. In just five years, a new, "state of the art," two-story (and soon to be three-story) hospital building opened to the public. This was early May, 1902. The structure cost $8,000 to build, and featured 16 private rooms and would soon boast three wards. A school of nursing was also established in 1902 adjacent the Frederick City Hospital and named the Georgianna Simmons Nurses’ Home. Mrs. Simmons was the former Georgianna Houck (1832-1915) who contributed the bulk of the money needed to build this facility. Her gravesite is located in the same section of the cemetery as Emma and another major early benefactor of the hospital, Margaret S. Hood.”
Frances A. Randall wrote about the Nurses Home in the 2006 publication by the Frederick News-Post entitled Frederick County, Maryland: Your Life. Your Community.
“Miss Sallie Earhart was appointed the first superintendent of nurses. Five physicians were selected to give clinical instructions to the students. The first class of three graduated in 1904 from a two-year program. The school was changed to three years of study in 1907. The students lived in rooms in the main hospital building until 1913 when the Georgianna Houck Simmons Nurses’ Home was completed.
Most classes were held in the basement classroom or in the lecture room of the home. The hours on the duty were long, 7am-7pm, with two hours off during the day when possible. In the early years, the students were given one afternoon off each week.”
An article from the July 9th, 1913 edition of the Daily News reported the official dedication of the building and subsequent gift to the Frederick City Hospital. It also mentions the graduation of three nurses from the training program in 1913. They were Emma B. Ohler of Emmitsburg, Grace I. Thomas of Frederick and Florence A. McDade of Burkittsville. After graduation, these ladies were taken to the State Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Sabillasville for inspection, according to the newspaper.”
Mrs. Randall continued with her overview of the school, giving its history through to its eventual end.
“Quite often students would be called on during their times off to help when a crisis might arise at the hospital. At times, the nursing shortages were acute, especially during the war years, and many responsibilities were placed on the shoulders of the young students. Perhaps this helped to make them better prepared for the greater responsibilities that lay ahead.
In 1952, the hospital’s name was changed to Frederick Memorial Hospital. Over the years many changes, improvements and enlargements took place. The hospital has grown from twelve beds in 1902 to 300 beds when the latest construction was completed. The largest class graduated in 1951 when twenty-one nurses received their diplomas. The last class of nine graduated in 1968, bringing the total number of graduates to 427
The closure of the nursing school was a sad event for the alumnae, but the pride we have for our Alma Mater remains. The many instructors and doctors who helped the students through the years are remembered with fondness. And so an era that lasted 66 years came to an end. The Nurses’ Home was demolished in May 2002.”
As for Georgianna Simmons, she passed away on August 6th, 1914 —a year after the grand opening of the Nurse’s Home. The cause of death (given in our records) is listed as senility. Ironically, Georgianna didn’t die at the hospital, rather she breathed her last breath in the calming confines of her family home on N. Market Street—the future Professional Building of course. It is not known whether she was assisted by a nurse at home, or not.
Ms. Simmons would buried in the shadow of her parent’s impressive funerary monument within the family plot in Area F. As would be expected, her funeral was well-attended on August 8th, 1914. Most of her siblings surround her in death, just as they had in life. Her grave is between sisters Emma and Ella. I find it interesting that Georgianna's tombstone is in the form of a cross, a symbol associated with the nursing profession, specifically the Red Cross.
I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I received the call from Bill Sherman, my former father-in-law, telling me that Dr. Cable had passed. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was on the beach in Fenwick Island, Delaware, peacefully sitting in my chair in the sand and staring at the ocean on a beautiful, sunny late afternoon on the last day of July, 2010.
As it does for so many people, watching and hearing the waves gently crashing on the shore has always filled me with an indescribable calm—as it is my favorite pastime, and place, in the world. The irony here was that the human personification of “the calming powers of the ocean” was none other than Dr. Dana G. Cable.
I first heard Dr. Cable’s name proclaimed by my mother back in the early 1980s. She had gone back to college to get her Master’s degree from Hood College. Dr. Cable was a psychology professor at the local institution and served as my mom’s instructor for a unique class offering centering on thanatology, the study of dying, death and bereavement. I recall how very excited she got for each week’s class, and would usually come home beaming and giddy—something that seemed very odd to myself and the rest of my family, given the serious content matter. She tried explaining the class to me then, but I was in high school at the time, and death and dying was the furthest thing on my teenage mind.
Cable, a leading thanatologist over his storied career, originally came to Hood in 1972. He taught "Psychology of Death and Dying," one of the first classes in the field. Dr. Cable even conducted class field trips that involved walking treks within Mount Olivet Cemetery. Newspaper stories about him, and the innovative psychology classes he was designing, were picked up by the Associated Press and published in newspapers throughout the country.
Thanks to Dr. Cable and Dr. Terry Martin, Hood College expanded thanatology from a concentration under the master's program in human sciences to a certificate program. The initial vision and hard work of these gentlemen has earned Hood College the recognition of having one of the most heralded programs of its kind in the country today.
A Mother's Story
Exactly two years ago, my mother and I broached the subject of Dr. Cable, and the class after my mom found that she, herself, was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She had even gone to the trouble of digging her old class resource/text-book out of storage in order to re-read. It was entitled Death & Dying: The Universal Experiences and had been authored by Dr. Cable in 1983, the same year my mother took her first course from him at Hood.
Here are some poignant passages from the work mentioned above. These were specific points my mother had underlined in pencil within her copy used in conjunction with the class:
*”All of us will face the deaths of loved ones. It is time that we all learned to open the door to death and to look death in the face.” (pg5)
*”It is important to differentiate between what we call “fear of death” and what might be called “fear of dying.” When we speak of death, we are talking about a state of being. We are alive now. Someday we will no longer be alive; we will be dead. On the other hand, dying implies a process, a way of getting from that state of life to the state of death.”(pg 7)
*”For most individuals, the fear of death becomes greatest during the middle years of life. This is the time when we see our children able to function on their own. We are also at the peak of our profession and earnings, and everything seems to be going the way we want it to go.” (pg 12)
*”What then can we do in caring for the dying patient? There is no simple formula. However, whether we are nurses, physicians, janitors, clergy or significant family members of the dying patient, there are things we can do to make things easier both for them and for ourselves as well. First and foremost would be listening.”(pg 62)
*”Regardless of whether we choose the traditional funeral or a memorial service, the use of rituals is an important part of death. Rituals give us an opportunity to experience a rite of passage, a chance to say a final good-bye.” (pg 69)
*”When people do not do their “grief work” following a death, we may well find a serious mental, social, and emotional problem. The expression “grief work” is a very appropriate one. Overcoming a death, learning to go on without the love object, requires work. It is not something that just happens. In order to understand what the grief process is like, our starting point needs to be with some basic definitions.”(pg 80)
*”Finally, grief may be affected by our perception of the unfinished business that remains, unfinished business in the sense of failure to close relationships with the dead person.” (pg 87)
*”In most individuals we will see the intense expression of grief last for periods of weeks to months or even a year. Experience tells us that for most people the grief process will take a period of approximately two years, but indeed, it will vary from one person to another.” (pg 92)
My mom told me that Dr. Cable and the Hood class had helped her in so many ways, especially in coming to grips with the death of her father (the previous decade) and finally achieving adequate closure. Her dad had passed somewhat suddenly in 1975 after a short illness.
I certainly knew how tight of a connection bond my mother had with her father. She was the youngest of three and the “apple of his eye.” Just one week prior, I had accompanied my mom to Wilmington, Delaware to visit my grandfather in the hospital. He was upbeat and apparently making a positive recovery. Mom had to return back home to work the weekdays at her job at a hospital in Montgomery County, but planned to come back the following weekend to see him.
I often flashback to the following Friday, a day in which I woke up to find both of my parents staying home from work, and keeping my brothers and I out of school. My grandfather had died overnight, news given to me by my Dad. He told us that our mother was very, very sad. I was only eight, and my brothers were five and two, so we didn’t really get the magnitude of what she was experiencing. It was, however, the first major death of a relative I would experience and remember.
I won’t forget that day, seeing her more distraught than any other time in life. Actually, it makes me sad even thinking about it now. She regretted not being there in Wilmington by her father's side when he died as we had planned to head back to Delaware that Friday evening after her return from work. It was my first funeral, and a surreal experience seeing so much sadness from relatives. To add to the family’s loss, my grandfather was previously scheduled to come to Frederick to help preside over my First Communion the same weekend, as he was a Eucharistic minister in the Catholic Church.
I would see my father go through the same thing a decade later with the loss of his mother. I recall the support my mom was able to give him however, and a big part of that was by sharing the lessons and wisdom gleaned by Dr. Cable.
When my mom and I talked two summers ago, she remarked that Dana Cable’s class was one of the most enlightening and rewarding educational experiences of her life. This was quite a compliment from someone who had an innate love for learning. She knew that he had made a difference in her life, just as he likewise did for countless others be them students, private practice clients and professional colleagues. Interestingly, Dr. Cable would one day do the same for me, as I would find myself in a situation I never expected to be in.
My mother passed in February, 2019 of respiratory scleroderma/interstitial lung disease. Once again, I know the impact that Dr. Cable had on her in the classroom also helped her battle her terminal disease, at least mentally.
To chronicle the rich life of this man who specialized in the study of death, I will simply submit his obituary and also provide a link to a fine story written about him and published at the time of his death in the Frederick News-Post.
Dr. Dana Gerard Cable, 66, of Frederick, died Friday, July 30, 2010, at Frederick Memorial Hospital. He was the loving husband for 33 years of Sylvia K. Cable.
Born Aug. 27, 1943, in Sewickley, Pa., he was the son of Jean Clover Cable of Brookeville, Pa., and the late Boyd Cable.
Dr. Dana G. Cable earned his B.A. degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and his Ph.D. from the University of West Virginia. He was a professor of psychology and thanatology at Hood College. A leader in the field of gerontology (the study of aging) and a pioneer in thanatology (the study of dying, death and bereavement), Dr. Cable was director of both the thanatology and human science graduate programs at Hood. He was a licensed psychologist and certified grief counselor.
Dr. Cable was on the editorial boards of The American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, and Omega: Journal of Death and Dying. He authored the book "Death: The Universal Experience." He authored and co-authored (along with Dr. Terry Martin) numerous chapters in books as well as professional papers. He and Dr. Martin were invited co-presenters at international conferences in Canada, Greece and Scotland.
Dr. Cable was on a team that developed a 10-part video course on death and dying for public television and distance learning. He served on the Board of the Association for Death Education and Counseling and earned that organization's Clinical Practice Award.
Dr. Cable served as president of Phi Kappa Phi international honor society and was chairman of the board of Hospice of Frederick County. He lectured widely in his chosen fields, most recently as the invited speaker of the Carhart-Rollandini Thanatology Lecture Series at Hood, when he presented his well-founded theory of grief. He was a gifted teacher and mentor to hundreds of students spanning his nearly 40 year teaching career.
Dr. Cable served as an International Trustee for Kiwanis International. He served as a governor for Capital District Kiwanis. He was a member of Kiwanis of Frederick. His favorite past-time was going to Las Vegas and taking cruises in January.
Surviving in addition to his wife and mother are two children, David Cable and wife, Carolyn, of Yellow Springs and Jenny Morgan and companion, Patrick Ellis, of Middletown; five grandchildren, Jared Cable, Samantha Cable, Taylor Cable, Ryan Morgan and Sarah Morgan; one sister, Penny Saxton and husband, Lew, of Pennsylvania; and nieces and nephews, Tina Chillcott, Bill Ramey, Daniel Cable, Waylon Boyer and Angie Lahrman. He will remembered by his lifelong friend and associate, Dr. Terry Martin. He is also survived by several great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his grandson, Alex Nathaniel Cable; his sister, Christine Cable; and infant brother, Lanny Cable.
The aforementioned Lanny Lee Cable died in the local Brookville Hospital (Pennsylvania) at just 12 days of age. The baby sibling of Dana died as a result of being born premature. I’d bet this traumatic incident had a profound effect on Dana’s family, particularly his mother. It likely affected or perhaps gave inspiration to Dana to enter the field of studying death and grief.
While conducting my research for this story, I found another early newspaper article that showed Dana Cable was be destined as a writer from a very young age.
Here is a link to the FNP story on Dr. Cable from August 3rd, 2010:
My Personal Remembrance (For what it’s worth)
The reason that Dana Cable and I intersected in life was certainly due to a death, as you would naturally think. However, it was not just any death-- it was that of a steady girlfriend of mine.
Back in the summer of 2009, I was recently divorced and inadvertently happened upon the beginning of a magical, new relationship with a charming woman living in Golden, Colorado. To say I experienced serendipity, is an understatement, as I met Alisha by total accident while I was attending a tourism-based work conference in Denver. I had flown out a few days early in an effort to do some sightseeing before the conference. I headed to Golden to tour the legendary Coors Brewery and visit the Buffalo Bill Museum and Gravesite which overlooks the sleepy, little Colorado town from atop Lookout Mountain.
I won’t bore you with the details of how we met on a restaurant patio overlooking Clear Creek, but we hit it off wonderfully. Neither of us were looking for somebody, but we found something very special that night—each other.
Like me, she was recently divorced and had a four year-old son, while my son Eddie was three at the time. A long-distance relationship would ensue and grew throughout that fall into winter with several trips made between Colorado and Maryland to spend time with one another.
She was truly amazing and the relationship grew fast. After an incredible Thanksgiving, in which I introduced her to my family, she would also spend Christmas week with us here in Frederick with her son. It was reminiscent of a movie on the Hallmark Channel --a reference to bring "cable" television into the story.
Two days after a joyous Christmas Day, Eddie and I drove Alisha to BWI Airport and put her (and her son) on a plane home on December 27th (2009). Future plans had been made for me to fly out to Colorado three weeks later for her birthday. I had no idea that I would never see her again. Three days later, on December 30th, 2009, she was murdered in her home in the middle of the night. The alleged suspect was her estranged ex-husband who had broke into the house.
Riddled with shock and grief, I would be called on to assist investigators in the ex-husband's arrest. Instead of going to Colorado for Alisha’s birthday, I would travel to Colorado to deliver a eulogy at a memorial service for her at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I also met, and spent ample time, with investigator Kate Battan of Colorado’s Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. A decade earlier, Det. Battan was the head investigator of the Columbine High School shooting tragedy.
Months later, I returned to Colorado to serve as a principal witness in a very unpleasant child custody case for Alisha's son who had lost both parents, one to death, and the other to a detention facility. The trial was held in a conservative county outside of Denver and somehow the court decided to place her son with the murderer’s family. It truly baffled the mind, as the fix was in from the start with her ex-husband's family.
Another case of greater importance was on the horizon. The State of Colorado needed me to be mentally strong and collected in order to testify in a murder case which was scheduled for fall of 2010. I was a key witness for he prosecution and was directed to see a grief counselor in advance of the trial, something the State of Colorado would fully embrace and fund on my behalf. I reached out to the earlier mentioned Bill Sherman, a psychologist himself, for guidance. He told me that he knew just the person for me to go see—Dr. Dana Cable. Apparently, the good doctor had stopped taking on new clients, but would make an exception for me based on the circumstances. He was also a friend of Bill’s so I really lucked out.
I started seeing Dr. Cable in April 2010 and we met weekly for the next three months. I already had a comfort level with him and had the unique opportunity to begin our therapy by telling him that my Mom loved taking his class at Hood, and what it meant to her. In our sessions over the next three months, I was able to describe in detail the relationship I had built with Alisha, culminating with her death and the grief I had been feeling. I learned so very much from him, and more importantly, about myself during those weekly visits.
Our last session in late June ended with Dr. Cable telling me that he thought I was highly resilient, mentally strong, in a very good place and definitely ready for the trial, and moving forward in other aspects of life. He told me that perhaps my whole purpose in meeting Alisha was to provide her final months with happiness and bliss. He also said that I had channeled grief, emotion and energy into performing a mission in assisting the investigators and most of all Alisha’s family, of whom I would have the pleasure of meeting for the first time only in conjunction with her funeral services in Cincinnati, Ohio a week after her death and on my birthday of all days.
I would miss my next weekly appointment with Dr. Cable thanks to a planned vacation to the beach at the end of the month. We had set up my next session for Tuesday, July 6th (2010). I remember going to his home-based office near Bartonsville on that hot, July day. I was even ten minutes early and sat in the car before approaching his office door. To my surprise, no one answered after repeated knocks and ringing of the doorbell. I had waited nearly five minutes before I decided to try his home front door, as his office was connected to the house.
Eventually his wife, Sylvia, would answer the door. She apologized profusely and told me that Dr. Cable should have notified me as he had postponed all appointments for the week. She said that he was dealing with some health issues. I was perplexed and disappointed, but simply went back to work. When I returned home that night, I dug through the stack of mail from the previous week and found a letter from Dr. Cable sent out on July 1st.
As you can piece together now, I would never see Dr. Cable again. He died a few weeks later of septic shock relating to surgery undertaken to address colon cancer. When I got the news of his death that day in late July while on the beach, I felt two things. My first reaction was shock and surprise, but surprisingly without any extreme sadness as he, himself, wouldn’t want that from me. Instead, I experienced a renewed reassurance that his lessons of life, and death, (along with the tranquility and strength gained from my current state in watching the ocean) would be there for me in the upcoming court trial, and the continual “trials of life” ahead. My second “deep thought,” was saying to myself: “Hey, wait a minute, am I living a Seinfeld episode? How should you feel when your grief counselor dies? And, more so, who are you supposed to talk to about it?”
Over a week later, on August 8th, I attended Dana Cable’s memorial service at a packed-full Coffman Chapel on the Hood College campus. I was simply in awe of the eulogies given that day, and various stories of the people he had touched through his life’s work on death. The gentleman was thoroughly accomplished and keeper of "A Wonderful Life."
Looking back personally, what strikes me is just how poignant Dr. Cable’s final words to me really were. He complimented me on my resilience, especially how I had processed the deaths of my two life’s heroes—my father and paternal grandmother earlier in life. He said this gave me the proper foundation for working to resolve Alisha’s death, albeit much more disturbing and tragic. He gave me his green light and approval to move forward, or at least the confidence and assurance. I wasn’t just good, I was actually “Cable-ready,” to use a satirical play on words involving the well-known designation which indicates that a TV set or other television-receiving device (such as a VCR or DVR) is capable of receiving cable TV without a set-top box.
As a footnote, the murder trial went as scheduled in the fall of 2010, and I performed my part in giving my testimony with honesty, love and conviction. And speaking of conviction, the convict in this case, Alisha’s ex-husband, was sentenced to life imprisonment in a federal prison for his horrendous crime.
Thank you Dr. Cable. Not only did you help me then, but you somehow probably had a hand in me working for a cemetery as well—a place predicated on death and dying. It certainly never crossed my mind prior to late 2015 at which time I was offered the job here..."Good Grief!"
Dana G. Cable is entombed within a burial crypt within the Potomac Building in Mount Olivet Cemetery’s mausoleum complex. His mortal remains are located in crypt 29/Row B. (In picture above, the Cable crypt space is the first on the left, second row up from floor.)
I guess you could say that Harry Payton Fraley spent the bulk of his life around furnaces and ovens—quite a “warm existence.” Born on March 10th, 1896, Harry was the son of James Henry Fraley and wife Victoria Isabelle Sweeney, farmers in the vicinity of Catoctin Furnace. The small northern Frederick County hamlet (below Thurmont) boasted a prosperous iron producing operation established by James and Thomas Johnson at the advent of the American Revolution. A bustling industrial and residential complex grew up here taking the name of Catoctin Furnace from the adjacent geologic structure of neighboring Catoctin Mountain. Harry’s cousins operated the company store for many years, so named with the family moniker—Fraley’s General Store.
Harry P. Fraley’s great-great-grandfather, Johann Henry Frolich (anglicized to Fraley), was a drummer in the Hessian Army and apparently captured at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 and brought to Frederick to be imprisoned. After the war ended, he, like many other Hessian soldiers, decided to stay in the fair county and the newly victorious United States of America. Johann would eventually gain employment at the Johnson Furnace and lived in the village until his death in 1830. His son, Solomon, and grandson, Jonathan S. Fraley, worked as laborers at the furnace in addition to farming. The latter (Harry P. Fraley’s grandfather) took employment at the local furnace, with the 1880 US Census showing that he drove a delivery team of mules for the operation.
Harry grew up here at “The Furnace” and attended the local public school up through the 7th grade, which was customary as he assisted his father and siblings on the family farm. He would experience three major events in his childhood. In 1903, the Catoctin Furnace went out of blast, being quieted for good after a run of 128 years. In June, 1905, tragedy struck the residents as news reached town that a flat car loaded with railroad workers from Catoctin Furnace was being hauled up the line and as a result of an error in signals, a fast train crashed into it. Almost every family in the village was touched by a personal loss. Two years later in 1907, the Catoctin Iron Works went into the hands of receivership and was sold to a congressman from Bedford County, Pennsylvania and soon closed. All of the machinery was moved to a like plant near Pittsburgh.
In February 1918, Harry married Maude Mahala Zimmerman. Five months later, the groom shipped out of the vicinity to participate in World War I. He was a private with the Machine Gun Company within the 71st Infantry Regiment. He is one of nearly 600 local veterans of the Great War featured with a memorial page on our sister website www.MountOlivetVets.com. Here is a brief overview of his war experience including his draft/enlistment papers.
Harry would be honorably discharged in January, 1919 and came back to Catoctin Furnace unscathed. He got to first hold his son, Francis James Henry Fraley, who had been born in December, 1918. The couple can be found living here in the 1920 US census.
The furnace property had been used for a couple of different purposes, but the hamlet’s lifeblood was gone. One of these supplemental operations gave employment to Harry P. Fraley. In 1920, he took a job at the local stave mill here, housed within some of the old furnace operation buildings.
Stave mills produce the narrow strips of wood that compose the sides of barrels, which were vital for the transportation of goods in the days before easily fabricated boxes and waterproof plastic containers. The Hickory Run Stave Mill was begun in 1914, and managed by a firm out of Lehigh, PA. It would operate for about 12 years.
By 1930, Harry had moved to the Ballenger Creek Pike area southwest of Frederick, and was employed as a tenant farmer on a property owned by his father-in-law. Fraley also dabbled in trucking and hauling. He would live with his wife and son until 1938, at which time he separated from his wife. The 1940 census shows that he was a driver for an oil refining company. The couple was back living together again, but this would not last.
In early 1946, Harry and Maude officially divorced, apparently due to Harry’s abandonment the previous year. Both had been put through immense strain in June, 1944 as they endured the news that son Francis had been wounded in France during World War II. In 1956, Harry remarried a divorcee named Lillian Anna Wachter. The two lived at 22 Hamilton Avenue in Frederick.
Oh What a Night
Harry lived out his life working as a night watchman for the G&L Baking Company, also written out as G.L. Baking Company. It was a peaceful and drama-free job for the man from north county, at least until his very last week on the job before a well-deserved scheduled retirement in September, 1975.
On that particular overnight of September 25th/26th, while making his rounds, the native of Catoctin Furnace suddenly found himself “floured and battered,” but not exactly in that particular order.
Not a good showing for Harry as the bad guy made off with the dough, both literally and figuratively. So much for the gold retirement watch, I guess. I’m not sure if our subject had to work out his last two days or not, but he would retire from G.L. Baking with the dark-comedic story of a lifetime to tell, although not of the standard hero variety. Regardless, Harry P. Fraley was a child of the mighty furnace, a war vet, and faithful employee of the stave mill and bakery.
I could not find anything further on the case, and am figuring they never caught the culprit. Harry would live to tell his harrowing tale for six anniversaries of the bakery burglary event. He died a few weeks prior to the 7th anniversary, succumbing on September 9th, 1982. He was laid to rest in Mount Olivet’s Area GG/Lot 55 by the side of wife Lillian, who had died nearly two decades earlier.
I have to say, this simple story made quite an impact on me, so much so, I was inspired to place "flours" on Mr. Fraley's grave. It was only temporary though, and I had to settle for a brand other than G.L. --as it's been quite a while since that local product has been on the grocery store shelves!
(Author's Note: Special thanks to Thurmont mayor/historian John Kinnaird for the period images of Catoctin Furnace from the Robert S. Kinnaird Collection of Historic Thurmont Photographs.
A few months ago, I wrote an article entitled “An Echo From the Past” which focused on a particular section of the cemetery’s Area T, which contains 40 victims of the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918. Most had died in the months of September and October. That time in our history featured mandated quarantines, event postponements and suggestions for social distancing. One also has to remember that there was a "world war" also going on at this time too! The war ended on November 11th, but celebration was tempered because a second, lesser, wave of the flu hit a few weeks later and stayed into the new year of 1919 before dissipating by late February/March of 1919. I'm sure many at the time replied, "Oh, 1918, what a crazy and depressing year."
When things opened up there were no restaurant capacity limitations and mask requirements as we have been experiencing a century later, but one thing was certainly the same—people longed to return to normalcy after an eight-month period of unknown. Unlike Covid-19 which has targeted our older population today, the Spanish Flu skewed toward younger victims between 20-40, and included teens but not many children.
Things eventually returned to normal. One particular place that needed a peaceful return was the sleepy hamlet of Buckeystown, located just a few short miles southeast of Frederick. It was here in late September, 1919, that Frederick County's first cases of Spanish Flu were occurred. Forty cases were reported there by September 26th, and our county’s first attributable death was that of resident Bessie G. Jones, a 33 year-old housewife. More "Buckeystownians" would perish in the weeks to come.
In the summer of 1920, nearly two years later, the Buckeystown community would shaken when two local young ladies, both seventeen-year olds, would perish in a tragic accident, setting the stage for the largest attended funeral services in the town's history up to that time. Subsequently, the girls would be buried in Mount Olivet's Area T. Unlike their neighbors who had passed in 1918, their demise was certainly not caused by the flu, but by drowning.
With the emergence of spring and summer, folks sought comfort in outdoor activities such as picnics, baseball games, the Braddock Heights amusement park, camping and swimming. The latter activity of water recreation can today be easily achieved with a multi-hour trip to the eastern shore and the beach or bay, or perhaps a trek westward to Deep Creek Lake. For most Frederick residents, the more common route to cool off in summertime included a jump in a nearby swimmin’ hole, be it pond, creek, or river.
Sadly, our subjects of this week’s story would meet a tragic end in mid-July while on an innocent canoeing-swimming foray with a group of teenage friends in the Monocacy River just southeast of Buckeystown.
Mary Elizabeth Ball was a native of Paeonian Springs, Virginia, located between Waterford and Leesburg. She was one of seven children, and went by her middle name. Her father, Stephen M. Ball was born in Tennessee, but had parental ties to Loudoun County. He married a Poolesville (MD) girl named Sarah Louise White. The Balls moved north of the Potomac River to Brunswick some years earlier but wound up in Buckeystown working as a tenant farmer on the farm of William G. Baker which was southeast of town on property now comprising Buckingham's Choice senior community and the Claggett Center. Elizabeth's paternal grandparents had a farm in Buckeystown as well.
Elizabeth Plant had moved to Buckeystown just one month prior (June 1920) from her previous home at 2816 Alameda Street in downtown Baltimore. She was the daughter of William and Mary (Schuck) Plant. Her father was a successful builder and died in 1908 when she was five. Elizabeth and her brother Albin came with their mother from Baltimore and opened a small mercantile business. Although I didn't find one, I imagine that they must have had relatives or family friends here.
On Tuesday, July 13th, 1920, both Elizabeths joined up with local friends for a day of fun and frolic on the Monocacy River (just east of town). Newspaper articles across the state would capture the terrible events of that ill-fated river excursion.
As can be seen from the reports, Miss Ball was heroic in her attempt to save her new friend from Baltimore. Burial services were held at Mount Olivet a day later on July 15th, 1920.
Interestingly, both girls are buried roughly ten yards apart in the northern section of Area T and have matching tombstones.
As a matter of fact, Elizabeth Plant was buried in the Ball family lot. Mr. Stephen M. Ball, Elizabeth's father, took care of the arrangements for having Elizabeth Plant interred here. He, himself, would be laid to rest here just nine months later. The details of his death make the drowning story even sadder.
All deaths come with a degree of sadness, but a century ago in 1920, there was no sadder place than Area T on account of those who died far before their prime.
As a footnote to the story, my research efforts showed me that the Ball family were not the only ones trying to move forward from the tragic drowning of July, 1920. Elizabeth Plant’s grieving mother, Mary, was experiencing added stress and heartache. The daughter of German immigrants, she was raised in Baltimore and came to Buckeystown in 1920 to operate a general store a decade after the death of her husband. In November, 1920, the business would suffer destruction from a fire. After getting back and running again, her store fell prey to a burglary. Not a banner year for Mrs. Plant at all.
One year later, exactly one week after the first anniversary of her daughter's death, Mary Plant would be named Buckeystown's postmaster. She would eventually return to Baltimore by 1930 and lived out her life in "the monumental city" until her death in 1963. I couldn't find her definitive burial site, learning that she wasn't buried here in Mount Olivet with her daughter. Her husband, William is buried in Dundalk's Sacred Heart of Jesus Cemetery in Baltimore. I would assume she is buried there alongside him. Her parents are interred there as well.
Author's Note: Special thanks go out to my friend Ron Angleberger who did some advance research and introduced me to this somber tale. Likewise, friend and Buckeystown historian Nancy Willmann Bodmer gave me additional info and photos.
One of the most interesting areas within Mount Olivet Cemetery is labeled as NN. Here, stones are tightly packed together, many of which marking the graves of folks born before 1854—the year our cemetery opened for burials. Three local churches would buy lots in this small section that once marked the northwest extent of Mount Olivet before additional ground to the west were opened around 1910.
In 1908, bodies originally interred in Frederick’s Methodist Episcopal church graveyard were placed here, along with decedents brought from Evangelical Lutheran’s former burying ground (at today’s Everedy Square corner of E. Church and East streets) and others formerly resting in the Presbyterian burial ground on the northwest corner of N. Bentz and Dill Ave.
I have written stories on others buried within Area NN, which was neatly laid out in rows with the inhabitants of each of the three fore-mentioned cemeteries in distinct sectors according to congregation—from left to right, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian.
Adjacent our boundary fence, a non-Frederick name on a stone jumped out at me. It is in the back row, right side, of the “Methodist section.” The decedent is Sarah Galezio. The brief “story on the stone” says that Sarah was the consort of one, Charles Galezio, and that she died on October 8th, 1833 aged 46 years, 4 months and 9 days.
Now Galezio is my focus for this story, but while I’m here, I want to mention the funerary phenomenon of the word “consort.” One can find that many women buried in our cemetery bear a descriptor on their stones in an effort to give context to a man of note she is related to. Now, I’m not trying to “stir the proverbial sexist pot” here, but “stations in life” carved into marble and granite grave markers are abundant. These include “wife of,” “daughter of,” “grandmother of,” “aunt of,” and “widow of.” On much older stones, the term consort or relict was used to describe the woman’s marital status. From the 17th through 19th centuries, consort was usually used on the graves of women, although a man could also be a consort. The word consort was normally used in this manner:
‘Sarah--consort of Charles Galezio,’ in which consort meant that Sarah was Charles’s spouse and died before her husband did. There is no other information listed. The fact that she was married to Charles is all that’s left as a reminder of her life and identity. Oh, and our cemetery database report that she was the mother of Charles and Mrs. Margaret Hobbs.
Again, this was a name I was not familiar with in the annals of Frederick history—so what better reason than to go “in search of,” right? Well, I didn’t expect to find much, but would be pleasantry surprised with what I did “uncover”—however, maybe not the best word use when referring to cemetery-based research of this kind.
Our records record Sarah’s birthdate as May 30th, 1787, but no parents named, and a burial date in Mount Olivet of June 4th, 1895. She actually was buried three times as the 1895 date marks her removal from the Methodist Episcopal Church’s graveyard to Area Q, Lots 252-253. In January, 1908, the Methodist churchyard burials were removed to her present resting spot in Area NN, Lot 123.
Thank God once again for the internet! I mean, it would have also been quite possible to find a short biography on my subject of this week’s blog (Sarah Galezio) had I been researching, in person, within the New York Public Library, specifically the stacks within the Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations. I’m sure that a work titled Ancestry and posterity (in part) of Gottfried Frey, 1605-1913 would have easily fallen in my hands. This book is a family genealogy written by Samuel Clarence Frey and published by Dispatch-Daily Print of York, Pennsylvania in 1914. Of course, the world wide web led me to an online version after a few short word/name searches utilizing the Google search engine. I have since found that Frey’s book can be found in college libraries across the country, and also a hardcover reprint can be purchased on Amazon.com for $28.95, and if you have a Prime account, shipping is free and you could have in two days time! But, I digress.
Here is what Samuel Clarence Frey had to say about his distant cousin buried in our fair cemetery:
“SARAH ANN CATHARINE FREY, the fourth child of Godfrey, was born in Montgomery County, Md., May I, 1789. Somewhat to the surprise, if not annoyance, of her conservative German father, when she was but sixteen years old she married an Italian music teacher, Charles Antonio Cazemere Galezio, born at Turin, Italy, March 4, 1773. He was a highly educated man, having been fitted for the priesthood; but left Rome and came to America, where he secured a position of some sort in the Navy, serving under Commodore Decatur. He spoke seven languages, and acted as interpreter for some of the foreign Legations. Two years after marriage, he was ordered on a naval cruise, and their first child was born at Sandy Springs, Montgomery County, Md (presumably Godfrey's home) during the father's absence, and was three years old before she saw him. The other children were born at Frederick. Md., where, after a little over fifteen years of married life, Charles died, in 1821. His widow survived him until October 9, 1833. From this union sprang the following descendants :
MARGARET GALEZIO, b. Aug. 5. 1810; d. May 22, 1882. Married Jan. 3, 1833, Rezin Hobbs, Farmer, Frederick. Md.
ANNIE VIRGINIA HOBBS. b. Oct. 17. 1835. Married Oct. 7, 1856, Richard Linthicum Waters, b. Feb. 18, 1834; d. Sept. 6, 1884, Farmer, Howard County, Md. (*granddaughter of Sarah)
SARAH MARGARET WATERS, b. July 22. 1857. Married, May 31, 1887, Thomas Edward Denoe. b. Apr. 25. 1846. Retired Grocer, Baltimore.” (*Great granddaughter of Sarah)
Another child is mentioned a little later in Mr. Frey’s family history. This was Sarah (Frey) Galezio’s only son, named Charles after his father:
“CHARLES GODFREY GALEZIO, b. Aug. 27, 1815, at Frederick, Md.; removed to Athens County, Ohio when a young man, living first at Chauncey and later at Wapatoneka. He was the first Recorder of the county, and a prominent Mason. At the outbreak of the Civil War he went to La Porte. Indiana, and enlisted, becoming a Lieutenant. At the expiration of his term he re-enlisted as a private and served until the end of the war, under Sherman, participating in the March to the Sea and the Grand Review at Washington. Died, Oct. 9. 1882, at the home of one of his daughters at La Porte. Ind. Married Sept. 16. 1838, Joanna S. Herrold, b. Mar. 21, 1822; d. Aug. 19. 1848.
ALEXANDER HARPER GALEZIO. b. June 20. 1839; d. Aug. 16, 1846.
ADELAIDE LOUISE (GALEZIO, b. Nov. 28. 1841. Sister M. Aloysia, in Convent at Glandorf, Ohio.
MARY VIRGINIA GALEZIO. b. May 15, 1844. Married Apr. II, 1867. Charles R. Baird, b. Apr. 1832, Farmer, La Porte, Ind.”
Wow, again, you can learn so much about a person in a cemetery when you start digging. Again, maybe not the best word use, but you catch my drift. Sarah Galezio was now coming more into view for me. Now unfortunately, the problem with genealogy, especially when researching women in earlier times, is that most available information primarily focuses on those contextual others such as parents, husbands, children, cousins as they seldom held occupation titles of note, ran businesses or performed military service. Thus, these incredible ladies are simply a reflection of the deeds/professions of their husbands, fathers and sons. This in addition to the incredible work done in keeping homes, birthing/rearing children, and supporting husbands—some of which were true “pains in the ass!” Sad but true, and more so frustrating.
We get lucky sometimes in finding personal letters or accounts of these women. Diaries can also be helpful in shedding light on one’s family and friends, or can paint an incredible picture of the personality of a diary keeper, be him man or woman. And you can’t talk about Frederick, Maryland and diaries without a mention of Jacob Engelbrecht who kept a chronicle of life in Frederick from 1818 through to his death in 1878. This quickly became my next research destination.
I found a handful of references to the Galezio family in Engelbrecht’s diary. Best of all, Sarah Galezio was mentioned by name in an entry penned by Jacob on October 9th, 1833 at 11am on a Wednesday morning:
“Died this morning in the year of her age Mrs. Galezio (widow), mother of Charles Galezio (at Smallwoods) & Mrs. Margaret Hobbs. Buried on the Methodist Episcopal graveyard, of which church she was a faithful member.”
Engelbrecht doesn’t give us much, but at least Sarah Galezio’s death was noteworthy enough for him to document. In looking deeper into the diary, I explored a few more entries. Earlier that same year (1833), Engelbrecht mentions the marriage of daughter Margaret to Rezin Hobbs, and two years later, another marriage, that of daughter Sarah to Jacob Yeakle.
I did revel in two additional posts made by Engelbrecht in the previous decade, as he recorded the death of Sarah’s husband, or should I say—consort?
“Died yesterday (at the Almshouse) in this town, Charles Galezio (barber) a native of Italy and a citizen of this town about six years. Whisky principally occasioned his death. He used to say “if a rich man dies, he died with the consumption but if a poor man dies, then whiskey killed him.” So report says.”
Sunday, March 11th, 1821
Jacob Engelbrecht, a tailor by trade and son of a German Hessian mercenary soldier captured and brought to Frederick during the Revolutionary War, recalled one of Frederick’s earliest southern Europeans four years later in 1825:
“There was a barber living in this town, 4 or 5 years ago named Charles Galezio (an Italian) who once advertised, for employment, and at the end of the advertisement he had, ‘Call when you will, there’s Charley on the spot with razors keen, and water boiling hot.’
He used to say too, during his lifetime (recollect, he’s now dead). “When a rich man dies, (they say) he died with the consumption, but when a poor man dies, why then whiskey killed him. The latter of which, Charley was tolerable fond of; but there are many more in the world who are fond of the “creature.”
March 25th, 1825.
We all know what a barber is, but men of this profession were once called Tonsorial experts. These individuals have an occupation with responsibilities to cut, dress, groom, style and shave men's and boys' hair or beard. Barbering was introduced to Charles Galezio's native home's capital city of Rome by the Greek colonies in Sicily in 296 BC.
Barbershops quickly became very popular centers for daily news and gossip. A morning visit to the tonsor became a part of the daily routine, as important as the visit to the public baths, and a young man's first shave (tonsura) was considered an essential part of his coming of age ceremony. A few Roman tonsores became wealthy and influential, running shops that were favorite public locations of high society, however, most were simple tradesmen, who owned small storefronts or worked in the streets for low prices.
Starting in the Middle Ages, barbers often served as surgeons and dentists. Some readers, of a certain age, may remember the popular early Saturday Night Live skit featuring comedian Steve Martin as "Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber." In addition to hair-cutting, hairdressing, and shaving, barbers performed surgery, bloodletting and leeching, fire cupping, enemas, and the extraction of teeth; earning them the name "barber surgeons".
Barber-surgeons began to form powerful guilds and received higher pay than surgeons until surgeons were entered into British warships during naval wars. Some of the duties of the barber included neck manipulation, cleansing of ears and scalp, draining of boils, fistula and lancing of cysts with wicks.
Well, the varying descriptions of Sarah’s consort paint Mr. Galezio as a bilingual music scholar who could quote scripture while giving you a shave and haircut. But a word to the wise, it sounds as if scheduling an appointment with the tonsorial expert would be better before he hits the booze, because he was well- armed with a sharp blade and boiling water.
I have no idea what became of Charles Galezio (burial-wise) as he is not accounted for in our records. The old Methodist burying ground was located between East Third and Fourth streets in Frederick, off Maxwell Alley as photographed earlier in the story. I would assume that Sarah would have been buried by her husband's side if he was laid to rest there. The two would have been re-interred together here. If anything else, perhaps he didn’t have a stone, or it was in bad shape and rejected by cemetery authorities which did happen with some of these removals. In any case, he would still be here.
My theory is that he was buried at the old Frederick Almshouse, the predecessor to the Montevue Home. This facility was located on the north side of West Patrick Street, just beyond Bentz Street. An old burial ground for the indigent inmates of this asylum was located behind the structure. I don’t know the exact whereabouts of those buried there as the area eventually became the place of residential housing and small businesses like automotive garages. This seems like it could be the most logical answer.
Sarah Galezio is here in Mount Olivet, and so are her daughter and two granddaughters. Margaret (Galezio) Hobbs (1810-1881) is buried in Area H/Lot 139, and so is Annie Virginia (Hobbs) Waters (1836-1913). (NOTE: Annie even had a brush with greatness during the Civil War by hosting Robert Gould Shaw in her home. Shaw took command of the 54th Massachusetts "colored regiment" that was heralded in the movie "Glory.")
A five month-old namesake granddaughter, Sarah E. Hobbs, died in December, 1834 and was buried at the Methodist Church originally. She resides a few yards from Sarah Galezio in Mount Olivet's Area NN.
Sarah’s son is buried in LaPorte, Indiana. The Civil War veteran attained the rank of 2nd lieutenant with Indiana’s 35th Volunteer Regiment.