Cemeteries have never been eerie places to me. As a child, I loved going on cemetery walks with my grandfather. He knew everyone or about everyone buried there. Each headstone meant a story. So in an odd way, cemeteries represented life more than death.
A few years ago I visited my grandparents' graves in Butter Cemetery. When I was leaving, I looked up across the road at Pat Tarpley's house and wondered, What would it be like to live across from a cemetery?
Driving away, I knew one day I'd learn the answer to that question. What I didn't realize then was that answer would merge with the Goree Girls and help form Tate P. Ellerbee's story. There was one more important seed of inspiration that would help sprout this tale. His name was Mr. Hank Williams. I'll tell you about that next week.