Monday, October 30, 2017

Clap For The Wolfman.

My friend Gary retired several years ago and sold his burglar and fire alarm business. He worked exclusively with commercial accounts, and many of his customers were local cemeteries. In most instances, the cemeteries had the control panels for their systems installed in maintenance sheds, and the sheds were relatively close to the main office buildings. This was not the case at Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Bellefontaine Cemetery was founded in 1857, just outside the city limits of Saint Louis (now it’s within the limits). It’s a beautiful place, hundreds of acres of trees, plants, and some of the best outdoor sculpture and cemetery architecture you’ll ever see. Many prominent residents have been buried there.

Late one night Gary got a call that something was wrong and an alarm wouldn’t shut off. He drove to the cemetery’s main entrance and let himself in. The alarm panels were located in a building that, originally, had been a gatekeeper’s residence, on the other side of the cemetery, close to a mile away. Gary drove to the old residence and took care of the problem.

This is where the fun begins.

One of Gary’s employees absolutely hated going on cemetery calls late at night. Gary called the guy and told him he needed to take care of the Bellefontaine problem. The guy really didn’t want to do it, but he finally acquiesced.

Gary drove to a spot about halfway between the entrance and the alarm box location, and he parked his truck on one of the other cemetery roads near the main drag. He then took the werewolf mask and long black cape that he had brought with him and put them on, and he waited behind a tree.

Gary finally saw headlights at the gate. The vehicle followed the winding road toward the old gatekeeper’s residence. When it just a couple of car lengths away, Gary ran to the middle of the road, looked both ways, and continued running across the road.

The truck, tires screaming, lurched into reverse, backed up, turned around, and sped toward the front gate. Gary was rolling on the ground laughing.

The guy came to work the next day and gave his notice. He didn’t want to tell Gary why, but Gary was insistent. Finally, the guy said he saw something weird in the cemetery the night before. Gary pulled out the werewolf mask and asked him if what he saw looked anything like it. Gary said he’d never heard this guy cuss so much. He decided not to quit.

My buddy Gary passed away a few months ago. Rest in peace, good friend.

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