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Meters Guard Parked Body
One of the more unique monuments in the Midwest, if not in the entire country, are the two expired parking meters that flank the remains of Archie A. Arnold in Scipio Cemetery in rural Allen County, Indiana, about 26 miles west of Fort Wayne.
Needless to say, the monument is a great tourist attraction. " What's more, as one recent visitor discovered after inserting a coin in one of the meters, it still works.
According to this visitor and his sister Robert E. Lee of Antwerp, Ohio, and Sally Warf of Hardy, Ky. Mr. Arnold was terminally ill at the time of his death in an automobile accident in New Haven, Ind., on April 21, 1982. He was 61.
"He knew he had a limited time to live because of his illness and, some time before his fatal accident, he purchased two new parking meters," Mrs. Warf says.
"They were stored in the basement of his home, so the story goes.
"Arnold had told a close friend that he wanted the parking meters installed on each side of his gravestone after he died, with the meters registering expired," Warf explains.
She adds that the friend had agreed to install them, but accomplishing the goal wasn't all that easy. Cemetery officials have rules and regulations governing the cemetery, and they were at first averse to allowing the meters to be erected anywhere on their property.
Arnold's friend, however, finally got the cemetery officials to agree to installation of the meters, but he, in turn, had to agree to keep them painted and in good repair, according to Warf.
The meters are, of course, the real thing, identical to those found in many communities the country over except that in this case the owner never gets a parking ticket.
(Reprinted with permission from American Cemetery magazine.)


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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #3