Union and West End Cemetery

The Union and West End Cemetery is located in center city Allentown. The main entrance is on 10th Street at 10th and Chew Streets. The cemetery is mantained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Ten board members (also volunteers) serve the cemetery association and manage the finances, make application for grants, solicit donations and participate in the maintenance of the cemetery.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Rodeo in the Cemetery

On Saturday, October 20, the officers, directors and a number of volunteers attended a rodeo in the cemetery. The participants gathered on the main road of the cemetery on that Saturday for a morning of fun and laughter. It was a beautiful day in the Lehigh Valley, with lots of sun and a light breeze.

The participants gathered to receive instructions on the operation of the some of the cemetery's equipment. The cemetery owns several commercial lawn mowers that are somewhat intimidating. These units a powerful units that are classified as zero-turn machines. They can literally turn on a dime. They are steered using two handles that are positioned across the body as you sit on the lawn mower. The participants are all familiar with the traditional long hood mowers with steering wheels, but levers is a whole different matter. It is the levers and the power that tend to intimidate. Many of the participants in the rodeo had never even sat on one of the commercial mowers, much less operated them under power.


The Scag was purchased new in 2001, so it has a little age on her and a few bumps and bruises. Her meter show 893 hours of operation. She is equipped with a 19.0 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine and because of her age, is a little sluggish, but still spry.


The Gravely is a model 148Z. Her name is "Zoey" and she has a 21.0 horsepower Kawasaki engine. She was acquired just this past August and was a demonstrator with only 79 hours on the meter. Zoey was a gift to the cemetery association from the Ariens Company, Brillion, WI. Zoey is powerful, responds like a thoroughbred and can race across the cemetery purring like the confident, contented creature she is.

The City of Allentown Traffic Department supplied large orange cones that were used to lay out an obstacle course. Each participant, after being thoroughly indoctrinated in the operation of the equipment, gingerly maneuvered the machines through the course. Cones were bumped, moved, shoved aside, run over, mashed and mutilated. It was a riot! Laughter permeated the air as the ones on board the powerful machines muttered under their breath. In time, however, they became less wary and more comfortable with the equipment. Each and everyone eventually mastered the equipment and they are now ready to take the machines out into the cemetery where they will face the challenge of trying not to knock over any stones.



The rodeo was a great success and after many a laugh at the expense of the trainees, we all enjoyed a cookout, with hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, apple sauce, chips, fudge, a cake and a beverage of choice.

It was great fun and a very enjoyable day in the cemetery. You could have been there. If you wish to volunteer, send us an e-mail. It isn't all hard work and no pay!

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