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Area residents will dine with those long dead on Saturday. The seventh annual Dinner with the Dearly Departed begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Elizabethtown City Cemetery.
Participants socialize with characters scripted to represent people buried in the cemetery, talking about their lives and times.
Paula Skees of Elizabethtown, who sold tickets for the event and has attended before, said she has seen judges, doctors, generals and soldiers depicted.
“It’s very interesting because of the history that you hear,” she said.
That’s the feeling her husband, Charlie Skees, has tried to instill during his seven years of playing characters and writing some characters’ scripts.
The retired teacher said he tries to bring the past to life and to pick characters with interesting lives. He uses books documenting local history to help him represent the times the people lived through.
He also tries to add humor and has portrayed some of his own relatives who are buried in the cemetery.
“I try to make it as interesting as I can,” he said. “I’ve seen so many people over the years turned off by history and social studies because they had to read it out of a book.”
Charlie Skees said it’s not hard to find interesting events and people related to Elizabethtown.
Residents fought in the War of 1812, had skirmishes with American Indians, shot out saloon windows during the height of railroads and have been part of countless other historical events and cultural changes, he said.
Presidents, General George Custer and other historical figures also have passed through because the area serves as an important crossroads, he said.
The dinner takes place on the cemetery hillside from which a Confederate cavalry under Gen. John Hunt Morgan fired 100 cannonballs into downtown Elizabethtown in an effort to damage Louisville & Nashville Railroad lines to cut off Union supplies, Charlie Skees said.
“We have a wealth of history for this area,” he said.
Charlie Skees said he hopes participants leave with an appreciation of that history.
Call 268-1904 for ticket information.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746.