Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I’m not a big fan of cemeteries. I have to catch myself from calling them “graveyards,” monuments popping up through the grass. I never know where to step. And, as readers will know, Mr. D and I have an ongoing dialogue (more a study group, really, although my tutor has yet to learn PowerPoint), so I don’t really have a need to seek out examples. Yet, within that real estate’s bounds lies a history of a culture, interesting calligraphy and inklings of stories, all of which do interest me.

There were familiar names, families who have owned or still own many acres in the area and roads named in their honor. Names that in the here-and-now carry more connotations than “pioneer.” I shall refrain.

We are on Anderson Road. Not only is there more than one fir in the picture, I wonder if at one time there was only one on the entire length of the road, for across the way is what remains of an oak savannah, the predominant flora in this area some 200 years ago. The trees in this photo must be the progeny of that solitary Douglas, long gone, for a tree at least 160 years old would be much larger than these.

There are people who dedicate themselves to photographing headstones and documenting the cemeteries that contain them. I ran across websites of groups who have organized around this purpose. I would not have found these sites had it not been for a question I found myself asking: Is there a prescribed way in which a broken headstone be placed if it is not to be repaired? While I did take photos of intact markers, that part of me that is drawn to chaos and transience is what I present here as my own study.


Crash said...

I guess that song IS rare. Never heard it. I see iTunes has it by Doc Watson and others, but not Hank Williams.

I do like graveyards, for some reason. Peaceful. DW is from Connecticut. Some of the worn headstones there are from the 1600's. One even had the "...as I am now, so you must be..." thing.

There is a small-town cemetery where, within a hundred feet, I have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 4 aunts and uncles, and 2 cousins. Dozens more within a few hundred yards.

Memphis MOJO said...

So are headstones repaired? Are they only repaired if relatives make arrangements and pay for it?

bastinptc said...

Crash - I have a plot. I visit it; tried it on for size. Might as well enjoy it while I can.

MM - More than you ever cared to know can be found at www.deathcare.com and links therein.

TenMile said...

Neat post. Thanks for the visits.