Walking through Oak Hill Cemetery last week with Mom and the girls, we passed the burial plot for J.W.A. and Zippora Rowland. As you can see, only one of them was buried there.
You'll note that there is no death date for Zippora, though the engraver presumed it would happen sometime in the 20th century. That marker visible on the bottom right isn't for her, it's J.W.A.'s. Why is his body on Zippora's side of the bed? That's just the tip of the iceberg of what I don't know about Zippora. Who was she, and why isn't she buried along with her name? Of course this made me curious, so I did a little Googling.
It seems J.W.A. Rowland lived most of his life not in Newnan but in Bowdon in neighboring Carroll County. I don't know what he did for a living, but the Carroll Free Press of the late 19th century reports that he was the initial vice president of the Carroll County Chorus Choir Association. (That meeting appears to have been in the Shiloh UMC building which still stands halfway between Carrollton and Bowdon.) Still in Bowdon in 1892, he was witness on a U.S. Patent application for Ocran D. Bunt's plow fender (patent #467853). "James W.A. Rowland" appears as a 72 year old man living in Newnan, GA by the time of the 1920 census. Nearer his death, he was a co-plaintiff in a 1921 lawsuit against the Central of Georgia Railway Company in which he won $250. (They were riding in a buggy "when the mule drawing it ran away and threw them out," causing injuries. It's not clear what role the railroad played, but the court said they were guilty.)
None of those references mention Zippora.
Zippora Rowland does show up in the 1930 census as a 62-year-old woman living in Newnan, GA. "Zippora" was never a popular name, but I don't find any reference to her in the local papers of the era.
So whatever happened to Zippora? Did she remarry? Did she die somewhere else, and no one knew to bring her back to Newnan where her marker was waiting for her? I like to think she's still alive somewhere, enjoying the good life on her sesquicentennial birthday. Here's to you, Zippora!
What I did on St. Patrick's Day:
Jacksonville Icemen 5, Georgia Gladiators 4.
Minor league ice hockey might not sound an Irish way to pass the time, but they fight like true drunken expatriates. Saint Patrick would be proud.
No time like the present to get a jump on March movies watched, so let's get started!
39. (1268.) An American in Paris (1951)
Should I have seen this movie before now? Yes. Am I disappointed I waited so long? No. Music, set design, and choreography are great. But Gene Kelly plays his usual, self-centered asshole, and I just don't really like spending time with him.
40. (1269.) The Cisco Kid and the Lady (1939)
Not so long ago, Mom pointed out that the relationship between The Cisco Kid and his sidekick Pancho were the template for Hanna-Barbera's Quick Draw McGraw and his sidekick Baba Looey. That led me to this Caesar Romero western/comedy that was actually quite charming.
41. (1270.) Pixels (2015)
Frankly, it's not as bad as all the reviews make it out to be, but that could be partly because I wasted too much time (and too many quarters) in video arcades in the 1980s and am tolerant of many of the film's indulgences. Don't mistake that previous sentence as an endorsement. The editing is terrible and the movie-watching experience would be better if you walked out before the ridiculously stupid third act started. All I'm saying is it isn't The Worst Movie Ever™ as some critics have portrayed it. (I *still* say that's Armageddon.)
42. (1271.) Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
I loved, loved, loved the first half of this movie. The pace congeals somewhat in the second half, adding Rihanna's character is a huge mistake, and it really should have been called Valerian and Lauraline (Cara Delevingne is actually the best part of the entire movie), but the action-packed sci-fi of the first half is alone worth the whole price of admission.
43. (1272.) Darkest Hour (2017)
Damn, can Gary Oldman act! I had to remind myself it wasn't actually Churchill appearing in this biography. Totally worth a watch.
More to come.
As if playing for the Miami Dolphins wasn't bad enough, wide receiver Jarvis Landry — the 2017 NFL leader in receptions — has been traded to the Cleveland Browns. Ouch.
Yes, Landry has a tendency to be a diva, but not more so than other players at his position. Yes, Landry has a tendency to commit penalties, but other players on the team were much worse. Yes, Landry's yards per catch were low, but his quarterback was Jay Cutler. The team's second leading receiver, Kenny Stills, had almost twice the average yards per catch on half as many receptions, but it's not Landry's fault that every-other pass to him was thrown behind the line of scrimmage.
Landry's true sin was wanting to be paid what he was worth. That's something the Dolphins' front office won't tolerate. That's why they got rid of Jay Ajayi last year. (Poor Ajayi was booted straight to the Philadelphia Eagles who only managed to go on to win the Super Bowl. What a bust!) That's why they'll soon be unloading Ndamukong Suh. Rumor has it that Ryan Tannehill — the team's highest-paid remaining player — will soon be shown the door for a similar reason. Ye gods, it's a housecleaning!
Sadly, it looks like another rebuilding year is in the cards for the 'Fins. Current GM Chris Grier must believe that when players say they love the game so much they'd play for free, they really will play for free. He certainly wasn't willing to open his wallet for either Ajayi or Landry despite both far outperforming their rookie contracts. That sets a pretty bad precedent for future rookies.
Don't get too attached to Miami, draft class of 2018. If you play well, you'll only be asked to choose between taking a pay cut or packing your bags. If you're lucky like Ajayi, maybe you'll get traded to Super Bowl-bound teams.
Today's movie list is a little longer than usual as I finish off February, so bear with me.
32. (1261.) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
I might be the only person in America who still resists The Rock as an A-list actor, but his charisma is undeniable as the centerpiece of this teenager adventure fantasy. My enjoyment was much improved by the fact that the night before watching this, I started playing Far Cry 4, which might as well be the video game the movie makes fun of.
33. (1262.) Heist (2015)
Who doesn't enjoy a stripped down, European-style action film? It started so slowly that I almost gave up on it, but I'm very pleased that I stuck it out. Fun.
34. (1263.) A Passage to India (1984)
Amazing cinematography frames a story best described as "Life Sucks for Everyone." Beautiful.
35. (1264.) The Joneses (2010)
David Duchovny and Demi Moore star as heads of a fake family planted in suburbia in a corporate guerrilla marketing exercise. I would have liked a little more bite — what Paddy Chayefsky or Billy Wilder couldn't have done with this concept! — but what I got wasn't entirely unsatisfying, thanks largely to the stars.
36. (1265.) Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
Another musical I'd seen most of in clips but never in one sitting. Great songs marred only by Betty Hutton's often overly-broad performance more suited for the stage than the screen.
38. (1267.) Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)
There was a lot of talk about this musical mystery movie back when I was in elementary school. I'm glad I didn't watch it then. It takes some tarnish to understand the nostalgia and appreciate the weirdly bittersweet ending. (Also, speaking in hindsight, it's fun to see Joey Pantoliano wearing a bald cap and wig.)
February turned out to be a pretty good month for movies. Let's see if March can raise that bar.