Monday, September 7, 2015

Coolest Epitaph Ever: "Good Night Gath"

I recently posted here about George Albert Townsend (and the JFK 50 Miler) when a local minor team, the Hagerstown Suns, offered bobbleheads of him as a promotion.  I thought it was waaaay cool that they elected to use a figure from local American Civil War history.

George Alfred Townsend (who added an "H" to his initials and frequently went by "Gath") was a member of the press, and considered to have been the youngest war correspondent of that conflict. 

Anyway, further reading made me decide to do a post about his death, which itself is quite interesting.  Here's a shot of George Albert Townsend's (Gath's) tomb along the Appalachian Trail piece of the JFK course:

Image credit seeker of revelation, here, who sums up Gath's afterlife situation thusly:

 Here were have the tomb constructed for George Alfred "Gath" Townsend, the man after whom Gathland State Park was named. Gath had it created many years before his death, and by the time he died he lacked the money to have his body transported to what was supposed to be his final resting place. It now sits empty in the park, while Gath's mortal remains dwell up in Pennsylvania

Which at length brings me to the real money quote, the inscription over the door of the empty tomb:

Image credit Marios Kritiosis, here.  

Evidently Gath had a real sense of humor.  You know, sometimes people get asked--pageant contestants or political candidates come to mind--about what historical figure that they would like to meet, and why.

The empty tomb symbology notwithstanding, I think I'd vote for meeting George Alfred Townsend, who evidently had a good sense of humor, even about dying.

Good night, Gath.

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