What Were Caverns Employees Doing Poking Around
Carlsbad Cemetery on Friday Evening, April 27, 2007
Wait! Please do not call the police or the Carlsbad Center for Bizarre Behavior Analysis. The group had gathered to engage in historical research; the visiting of the cemetery markers of four of the most significant people in caverns history—caverns explorer/guide/promoter Jim White, caverns promoter/writer Carl Livingston, caverns photographer Ray V. Davis, and caverns Superintendent (1927 – 1946)/booster Thomas Boles
The group gathered around 6:00 p.m. on the beautiful evening. The group included Rob, Jimmie, Jim, Jason, Ron, Don, Darrell, Greg, Bridget, Susan, Jamie, Shannan, Tom, and Linda. After a few introductory comments, I asked the cheerful group to follow. I also decided, fearing a sudden drop in tour attendance, not to mention the "shadowy figures" dressed in older clothing" who were walking in a group at the back of the tour.
We headed toward the marker of Jim and Fannie White. As luck would have it, all the markers were with easy walking distance. From a distance, I pointed out White's markers just beyond a couple crypts (someone yelled out that he had just seen some "bloods"). As the group approached, I slowed the group down to a crawl (getting them down on their stomachs) to generate “cemetery suspense” and a “lake eerie” type of feeling and to help them get a close nose smell of the grass.
I (it is always "I," isn't it Bob?) explained that flowers had once covered the entire marker to keep would-be vandals from discovering the grave site of Jim and his wife Fannie. Jim died in April of 1946 and his wife Fannie died in October of 1964.
Is this not a great-looking bunch of people? Before leaving the site, we took a by hand polls and unaminously concluded that a fine looking physical tour group of specimens we were and there was no sense denying it out of modestly or whatever.
The huge Living family monument is right smack dab in the center of their family plot. Carl B. Livingston (see http://carlsbadcavernshistory.blogspot.com/ for July 27, 2007) was born in 1889 and died in 1947 at the age of 57 or 58. He was a member of the 1924 Willis T. Lee Expedition and a writer of articles about topics in area, including my favorite article on Jim White, Through the Carlsbad Cavern with Jim White. and a kay archeologist. For a paying job, he was a lawyer and later in his career became the Assistant Attorney General of Nuevo Mexico. His Dad Morgan for a time was a rich ranch and cattle owner, but depression and drought wiped out his financial fortunes.
Leaving the Livingtons. By the way, Mr. Carl B. wrote very interestingly and his articles are worth pursuing.
Don and Susan enjoying the sunset glaring into their eyes. By the way, Susan added some very interesting historical stories to the tour.
Look!! Those shadows again.
At caverns photographer Ray V. Davis and his wife Nora's marker. Mr. Davis died in 1980 and his wife passed away in 1988. Shannan, arm outstretched, organized the group for the picture. Jamie, to Shannan's right, organized the whole tour. Thanks to all who helped!!
Mr. Davis had two sons from his first wife; in WWII the two sons served in the 200th Coastal Artillery in the Phillipines. The 200th was made of mainly men from New Mexico and Texas. Both men were captured and placed in what became known as the Bataan Death March. In October 1944 both of Mr. Davis' sons were on an unmarked Japanese POW ship headed to Japan. American pilots sank it and over a thousand men, including Eugene and Dwayne, perished.
This is my favorite picture from the tour. I love the look of appreciation that this married couple is giving each other.
Discussing history in general at the Davis gravesite.
Sun beginning to set at the Davis marker.
"Ansel" Hoff misses inscription on Tom Boles gravemarker.
A picture that I took earlier in the day.
Most of us went to eat at the Bamboo Garden after the tour. I enjoyed being with this group and hope to do another such tour in the near future. Bob Hoff