Being the eternal optimist that I am, I always choose to finish the above statement with “…In All Good Time”. It seems that the in the case of the Leather Man exhumation project, from where I stand, today this motto rings especially true. After months of debating, researching, planning, and wondering, it appears that forces beyond the control of us ordinary folks had the final say in what secrets Ol’ Leathery was willing to reveal.
According to Sarah Studley, Editor of the Pleasantville-Briarcliff Manor Patch who has been reporting on the story from the gravesite, the team was not able to find samples that could be used for DNA testing.
Whether it was the micro-organisms, acidic soil, an innacurate map, or something else beyond our comprehension, there is no doubt another chapter has been added to this man’s incredible tale. We now know that what remained of his physical form is truly one with the earth, while his legacy and legend continues to live on.
I’ll admit, I sat down and wrote some of this post a couple of days ago, but I never wrote the one that said “…must come to an end.” I tried, but I couldn’t.
Many people have asked me, “What is it about him that has inspired you to care so much?” Today, I can say, with clarity, that I simply admire the way he went about his life. Some words that come to mind when I think about the Old Leather Man are: humility, perseverance, respect, sobriety, patience, creativity, and faith. For me it’s a challenge to exhibit even half of these traits in my daily life and interactions with others.
And to think, he exhibited all of them daily, and he did so without using words.
For that , I thank you, Leather Man; wherever and whomever you are.