Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ohio Man Drives his Harley Davidson Through the Pearly Gates

Every so often, I like to review some of the more unusual or out-of-the-way graves I've encountered in my travels.  Celebrities are fine, but I also appreciate extra-terrestrials, cults and other odd figures buried on American soil.

Take for example, Bill Standley of Mechanicsburg, Ohio.  Bill was by all accounts a regular guy.  A family man, father of 4, with 9 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.  He spent 47 years as a commercial truck driver, and was active in his local unions.  His hobbies included fishing, dancing, and horseback riding.  And then of course, there was his Harley.

Bill had a passion for his motorcycle, and with it came a dilemma.  He had two sons, both of whom wanted it upon his death.  Unable to choose between them, he adopted an unusual plan.

Bill passed in 2014, but he started planning his funeral 18 years earlier.  A funeral that would see him permanently positioned atop his cherished roadster, entombed in a homemade Plexiglas vault.

Ghost Rider.
Funeral services were held on a cold, wintry day in January.  Mourners were given the opportunity to view the unusual casket at Skillman, McDonald and Vernon Funeral Home in Mechanicsburg before embarking on the most unusual funeral procession the state had ever seen.

Man and Hog.
I wish I could say that I'd been privy to these events.  Sadly, I'd not learn about it until some months later.  Fortunately, I'd already been planning a trip through Ohio to visit some other graves, and was able to work in a detour to pay my respects to old Bill.

I've no idea why there's a monkey atop Bill's grave.  One can only imagine.  The inscription on his side of the joint stone reads, appropriately, "East Bound and Down, Still Going On."

Local members of the media were also on hand for Bill's funeral.  For a fascinating report, courtesy of WBNS TV-10 in Columbus, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment