What is it about cemeteries that captures people's interest? Maybe it's because we all know people who reside in one and we all know we're headed for one eventually.
Whatever the reason, cemeteries seem to matter to people. So it comes as no surprise that, as was the case last year, the No. 1 Inquirer of the year involves a cemetery. In fact, the No. 2 of the year does, too.
Yes, Devoted Readers, it's time for the end-of-the-year look back at our (and by "our" I mean "my") favorite Inquirers of 2012.
Topping the list is the old Revolutionary War cemetery at the corner of Miller and Warm Springs Roads, the final resting place of Samuel Cooper, a soldier in the revolution who settled in this area after the war. The cemetery was in bad shape, but thanks to donations from readers, the Coweta Falls Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution hired some folks to fix it up and will continue to maintain the plot.
Moving from the SAR to the Sons of the Confederacy (and a few Masonic lodges) we next were able to spruce up a forgotten old cemetery behind a strip mall on Buena Vista Road. Concerned Reader Jeff Nix's great-great-grandfather, William Alexander Nix, a Civil War veteran and a high-ranking Mason, is buried there. So the local Masons and the Sons of the Confederacy joined up one Saturday morning and cleaned the place up.
Remember Agnes Bartrug, the 80-year-old widow who lives on Englewood Drive off Steam Mill Road? She had a big ol' dead oak in the yard next door that was dropping limbs and threatening to drop itself on her yard.
The owner of the rental house said the tree was on the property line, so he would split the cost. Bartrug said it's on his land and, besides, she couldn't afford to do that.
The good news is that a couple of altruistic arborists cut up what had already fallen, took off any limbs that threatened her yard and hauled it all away.
Another favorite was the Old Rugged Cross in Heath Park, a flower bed in the shape of a cross, which city leaders said violated laws concerning religious symbols on public land. The Windsor Park Homeowners Association took the sides of the cross off, at the city's request.
They reappeared a couple of times, but the city took them off each time.
The snake-infested overgrown creek on Maplebrook Drive was another favorite, and for two reasons. One, it's the first time in a 30-year newspaper career that I wrote the phrase "coyote urine," and that's got to count for something. And, two, it generated my single favorite online comment of the year, from a reader who calls himself "Fountain Cityzen." And, no, I can't put it in the paper. It's a paraphrase of a line from the movie, "Snakes on a Plane."
Over at Cooper Creek Park, there's a nice walking trail for handicapped people. Built years ago by the Kiwanis Club, it has been in need of attention for some time. The surface is heavily cracked and in many places tree roots have caused bulges that could trip up walkers or be very uncomfortable for people in wheelchairs or scooters.
The city has done some repair work on the trail, especially on its aging railing. But it's still not what it should be.
Down in the valley behind River Road School, an old dilapidated bridge once spanned a creek. It was apparently a popular route for some kids to go to school. There's a long concrete staircase leading down the hill to it. Well, the steps are still there, but the dangerous old bridge is history. Now the steps just end with a steel bar welded to block it off. Steps to nowhere. Almost like in Alaska.
While we're on the subject of schools, not long ago a Concerned Parent of an Arnold Magnet Academy student reported a dead pine that was literally dropping dead limbs onto a sidewalk children use every day. The school district wasted no time in knocking that one down.
And while we're talking trees, after a Concerned Driver reported how some overgrown trees were blocking some signs on the J.R. Allen, I called the state Department of Transportation, because that's their road. Man, the DOT went Old Testament on those trees.
So, how did we do this year? We addressed 48 problems in 2012, of which 36 have been remedied. That's a 75 percent success rate, which is pretty good . unless you're talking about birth control.