For the Independence Day weekend and my family reunion, I was in beautiful Eastern Oregon, in a lovely campground just outside Union. Union is a tiny town outside La Grande (off I-84) and is probably best known for its now 20-year-old mayor who won in a write-in election almost two years ago.
As happens with camping, we had to run to town for something we needed. On one of these trips, we took a drive through Union and enjoyed its small-townness ("Can we move here?" "NO"), ending up at the cemetery. Because, as you probably know, all roads lead to the cemetery... eventually.
I had my camera with me, and well, one thing led to another... pretty soon my husband was sighing exasperatedly as I bounced out of the car to grab a few pictures. Clicking away excitedly, I walked through the small cemetery, loving the sunshine and pine trees and atmosphere - they take immaculate care of this cemetery. It's very pretty.
While there, I found this amazing, totally unexpected treasure: the headstone of a man named Nephi Loveless.
The "Nephi," a Book of Mormon name, first caught my eye, but the phrase that really jumped out at me was "Nauvoo Legion." This man was a Nauvoo Mormon, a peer of Joseph Smith. He probably knew Joseph personally. Being in the Nauvoo Legion, he probably served in the Mormon Battalion as well... and now he's here, in Union, Oregon? How interesting. Apparently the Church has quite a little presence in Eastern Oregon from quite a way back, including a sugar beet farm in La Grande.
It was a neat find, but I'm not sure how to feel about having to admit that I spent part of my vacation in the cemetery. Hmmmmm...