Jillian here. As you know, I recently went to visit my son in Rhode Island and while I was there, we spent a day in Salem, Mass. It was a lovely city and there’s an awesome memorial to the witches there in an old cemetery. The accused witches each have a bench with their name caved on it and some people leave tokens and gifts on the benches. One bench had a sweet note from a nine-time great-grandson who left some flowers and a card that said they were all fine and doing well. So neat.
As my son, daughter-in-law and I walked around, I spotted a tree that had been struck by lightning. I knew that was what happened as I have a tree in my yard that was struck during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that has similar scarring. I took pictures of the tree and then walked to the other side and noticed a gravestone that seemed too close to the tree. Way too close.
As I was looking at it, a docent came over and told us the story about the young man, Caleb Pickman, (22 yrs old) buried there. He was killed by a lightning strike on July 4, 1737. The tree was small and intact when he was buried there. Over the years since then, it has been struck five times.
The third picture down shows the back of the grave and just how close the tree was to his resting spot. Poor guy couldn’t even get away from danger in death, could he?
I’ve got a lot of cool ideas on how to use this tree in stories. Does the tale or the setting inspire the writer in you?
So, anyone who tells you lightning never strikes twice in the same place is fibbing. 🙂