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PROBE: Sept. 21, 2001

September 21, 2001

QUESTION: After my mother died in July 2000, we moved my brother, who died in 1967, from a Mexicali cemetery and buried him next to our mother's grave in Mountain View Cemetery in Calexico.

In June of this year I ordered headstones for both of them. Both had to be set in concrete and installed. Although we didn't buy the stones from the cemetery, we had to have the cement work and installation done by the cemetery. The charge for that was $500.

Three months after we paid for the stones and the work, the headstones have not been installed. We think the cemetery is dragging its feet because we bought our headstones from another vendor.

My sister called Kirk Hems, a member of the Hems family that owns both the Hems Bros. Mortuary and the cemetery. He told her the stones should arrive in El Centro this week.

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She told him, "If the stones arrive Thursday, we expect them to be installed Friday." — Grieving Daughter, Calexico

Hems told us a woman called and raked him over the coals.

Although the headstones are scheduled for delivery today, there's no way they can be installed before next week, he said.

You're right. It did take longer because you bought the stones from a different vendor. Once they were built, they were shipped to Calexico and had to be shipped back to Riverside to be set in concrete, Hems said.

"If we ordered the stones, we would have ordered the cement work at the same time," Hems said.

Once the cement work was done, the stones were set aside to be shipped to Calexico again. The company that delivers the headstones comes down just once a month, Hems said.

QUESTION: Two weeks ago we had oodles of hummingbirds in our yard. Now they seem to be gone. What happened to the hummingbirds? — Concerned, Holtville

After resting their wings, they went on their way. They'll be back. What you had was a flock heading to Mexico and points south to spend the winter.

But go ahead and fill your hummingbird feeders anyway. More will fly in and some will spend the winter here. Your earlier guests may stop by this spring when they fly north to spend the summer.

Hummingbirds up close and personal are one of the pleasures of living in Imperial County.

About two weeks ago, sitting on our porch just before the sun rose over our neighbor's house, a hummingbird flew within a foot of our face and hovered there.

Since we have no feeder, we offered the bird a sip from our coffee cup but she buzzed away. Maybe she wanted decaf.

QUESTION: I am a teacher at Harding Elementary School. Do you think your readers would have toy typewriters I could use? The toy stores don't have them any more. — Teacher, El Centro

OK, readers, if you have a toy typewriter stored at your place, give us a call on our PROBE line (337-3448) and we will get word to the above teacher. She garbled her phone number on our voice mail but we can locate her.

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