Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: longtime readers and friends know my wife Anne is a history buff who brakes for Presidential grave sites, a common must-see on our annual road trips. In past entries we’ve so far shared our experiences with twelve dead Presidents of the United States of America as follows:
- our 2003 trip: John F. Kennedy, Jr., at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC
- our 2008 trip: Thomas Jefferson on the grounds of Monticello near Charlottesville, VA
- our 2011 trip: Ulysses S. Grant at Grant’s Tomb in Manhattan, a few blocks south of Harlem
- our 2012 trip: Harry S Truman in Independence, MO; and Dwight Eisenhower in Abilene, KS
- our 2013 trip: John Adams and John Quincy Adams in the same basement crypt in Quincy, MA; and James Garfield in Cleveland, OH
- our 2015 trip: Zachary Taylor in Louisville, KY; Andrew Jackson outside Nashville, TN; and James K. Polk on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville
- on the way home from Cincinnati Comic Expo 2016: William Henry Harrison a few miles west of Cinci
In the middle of that timeline is one we never got around to sharing: that time we visited the one and only Presidential burial site in our own home state of Indiana.
Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.
Once upon a time in 2012, we willfully stayed in town for a change and spent a Saturday at a pair of nearby attractions with connections to the Halloween season. It’s not her favorite holiday, but October is her birth month and she had her motives. The cuter of the two attractions was the annual “ZooBoo” program at the Indianapolis Zoo. We’ve been there many times in the summer and once or twice around Christmas, but we had never looked into their Halloween festivities. I finally got around to sharing pics from that afternoon last October.
The first half of that fun-filled day was spent driving around the most famous final resting place in all of Indianapolis, Crown Hill Cemetery. A renowned institution since 1864, Crown Hill houses several of the Circle City’s bigger names in history and/or local government, as well as the highest elevation point in central Indy. (I understand there may be a higher hill over on the northwest side, but it’s outside the original city limits and the view is uninspiring.)
Our primary objective this day was the gravesite of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd American President. He’s best known as the one whose term fell in between Grover Cleveland’s two nonconsecutive terms. Notable accomplishments on his watch include the Sherman Antitrust Act, six new states admitted to the Union, and unsuccessful attempts to enforce black voting rights. His similarly named great-grandfather was a signer of the Declaration of Independence; his grandfather was the aforementioned William Henry Harrison. To date he’s the President with the most Hoosier credentials, coming in slightly ahead of Abraham Lincoln, who lived here for part of his childhood.
Harrison was the main reason we’d come, but he’s by no means the only public personality viewable on the Crown Hill grounds.
Prime example: notorious criminal John Dillinger. Under no circumstances would I call us fans, but there he was. Not every photo or experience we post here on MCC is an endorsement or statement of adoration.
You may or may not recognize the names on the other graves we saw along our long walks. Even as a lifelong resident, some of these were strangers to me at the time. But they might mean more to other Hoosiers out there.
…and that’s the rest of the story about how Anne wanted to spend her 42nd birthday.
That brings us up to thirteen Presidential gravesites visited as of December 31, 2017. This gallery has been on my MCC topic backlist for years, but needed to be added at long last as one of several precursors to our 2018 road trip, whose travelogue should commence within the next week, Lord willing.
(We have enough Crown Hill photos from that day to follow this up with a Part Two, but I may save those for more appropriately thematic use in October, unless there’s a groundswell of demand to see them sooner. What do YOU, the Viewers at Home, think?)