On August 20, 2012 I attended the memorial service for Lyman V Rutledge in the memorial garden on Star Island.Lyman’s son Ed shared a number of stories, new to most in attendance. He spoke about the Dawn birds written about in a previous post. I’m not sure I had understood the amount of commitment that was required to participate. They gathered on the east end of the porch around midnight, walked out to East Rock by flashlight, turned out their lights and waited in silence for four or five hours, in anticipation of the sunrise and the new day. It was greatly symbolic and spiritual ritual that was very close to their hearts.
I also hadn’t known that the orientation of the Parsonage and the east bedroom window looks straight out to East rock and the sunrise, something that was not a coincidence, as Lyman was largely in charge of its construction.
Ed also spoke about his father’s role in the construction at the end of the pier, after so much of it had been demolished in a storm, and they had to quickly rebuild in order to open that season. With the help of staff, including Bobby Wharem and a number of winches they took stones and rebuilt the pier- Lyman standing right in the gaping hole they were filling, dangerously directing where each massive stone should be placed.
Lyman’s memorial rock was appropriately placed by his son, Ed Rutledge, right at the East point of the compass rose, pointing to the sunrise he so loved.