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The 23rd of June this year would have been my Mother's 110th birthday were she still alive. She lived to be 102 years old. This is one of her old time stories from her early days.

My mother was born in Smith County, Tennessee, in the Defeated Creek Community. Like many women of the day she was called on to prepare and sit up with the dead. This particular corpse was a distant cousin, I believe. He had suffered from insomnia, and the doctor gave him a bottle of chloroform with instructions to place some on some cotton and inhale it before going to bed. One cold night he jumped into bed apparently and forgot the chloroform. He then put some on the cotton but dropped it under the covers. The fumes killed him.

He was found curled up the nest morning and placed on the cooling board in his bed. Because rigor mortis was setting in, he was tied down to the board.

As they were setting there, the rope around his chest loosened, and the corpse sat bolt upright in bed!

Bob Wright
 
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