Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Glenwood, Arkansas

Etchographic Portraiture:  Etching has become an ever more popular way of painting portraits on granite slabs. This headstone puts the process into perspective: Her memory is etched into her survivors' hearts and her image is etched into her memorial. If you look at both sides of the marker, though, you will discover two different pictures from two different eras of her life. [2012]

You graced our lives
And touched our souls.
You danced through our
Days with love and laughter
Etching your memory
In our hearts forever.
We Cherish All You Gave Us.
Daddy and Momma

Monday, January 28, 2013

Seward, Nebraska

Etchographic Portraiture:  Abbreviated lives are a loss to humanity. Mothers and fathers suffer, of course. So do brothers and sisters. And pets as well. But, when the young are called away, the whole world suffers, too. Who knows what contributions were his to make? [2008]

Son of Mike & Jessie / Brother of Shane & Danielle
A Friend to All
Children are a Gift from God
Psalms 127:3

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hamilton, Ohio

Photographic Portraiture:  He looks at us from beyond the grave. He inspires us with his faith. We miss him even though we didn't know him. What power words and pictures have. St. Mary Cemetery. [2012]

Dear Lord
Thank you for this day we spend together with family and friends.  Thank you for everybody you have blessed me with in my life.  I know we sometimes don't appreciate these people as much as we should but please help us to notice all of the good they do for us.  Help us to be able to show the love You gave us to others and let us walk in the light of Your name.  Amen.
Written by: Greg Vaughn

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hope, Arkansas

Photographic Portraiture:   Let's say your survivors want to remember you with a portrait on your headstone. First decision to be made: which 'you' do they want to remember? You when you were 16 and just married? Or, you when you were 64 and perhaps failing? The Garrett family chose the latter. Great choice! Just look at how full of hope those faces are. Memory Gardens Cemetery. [2012]

Monday, January 21, 2013

Woodford, Virginia

Photographic Portraiture:  In some small way, photographs on tombstones keep the dead among the living. Here, we have a name with dates of birth and death. We also have a picture to draw us into the life world of the deceased. To that, add emblems of her talent and an utterance from her mouth. We are even able to call her by her nickname – as if she had been a friend. Mount Lawn Cemetery. [2012]

"I'm a Living Testimony"

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hanover, Pennsylvania

Propinquity and the Bonds of Faith – Roman Catholic:  Have you come to grips with the term 'propinquity' yet? It means proximity or nearness. No matter what the denomination or what the building material (in this case, sandstone), churches and cemeteries went hand in hand. But, the Conewago Chapel is not a mere church, it is a minor basilica. [2005]

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tolstoi, Manitoba

Propinquity and the Bonds of Faith – Ukrainian Orthodox:  A white clapboard edifice like this made the 'new country' a little like the 'old country.' The first generation of pioneers must have felt comfortable knowing they would find eternal rest in such familiar surroundings. [2012]

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tappahannock, Virginia

Propinquity and the Bonds of Faith – Episcopal:  St. John's building material? Wood siding in Carpenter Gothic style. In the mid-1800s, churchyards quickly filled up with graves, and this one appears to have required an over-the-wall expansion. What other choice was there? [2010]

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eldorado, Ontario

Propinquity and the Bonds of Faith – United Church of Canada:  First generation churches were often built of logs, but the second generation was often built of brick. By locating graveyards within sight of the church, people kept the dead among the living. Little effort was required to visit the ancestors. [2002]

Monday, January 14, 2013

Schellsburg, Pennsylvania

Propinquity and the Bonds of Faith – Lutheran and Reformed:  Find any old church and you will find around it a graveyard. The Lincoln Highway's 'Old Log Church' was built right after the merger of the Lutheran and  Reformed denominations. It was a time in American history when every churchyard did double duty as a place to bury the faithful. [2010]

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mercersburg, Pennsylvania

Truckin for Jesus:  Perhaps this headstone is meant to be read as one final thank-you note: 'Thank you Jesus for watching over me for so many years on the open road.' Perfectly secular. Perfectly Christian. Alternative interpretation: Jesus endorses Daily Express. The trucking company's name is on the cab door. [2010]

daily express

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Corinth, Kentucky

Truckin:  'Product placements' sell for a premium on afternoon soaps, but they are free on afterlife headstones. And, they air forever. Here, the secular segways into the sacred with the inscription below the big rig: "Our Final Move . . . United With Jesus." IOOF Cemetery. [2012]

United Van Lines

Monday, January 7, 2013

Downsville, Wisconsin

Truckin:  Icons of personal identity are common on headstones. They used to be drawn exclusively from the realm of religion. Today, secular images sometimes edge out religious ones. In life, many men become 'one with their truck,' and some have figured out a way to take that identity with them into eternity. Riverview Cemetery. [2012]

Friday, January 4, 2013

Steinbach, Manitoba

Focus on Heritage Cemetery:  Musical talent is buried here, and the talent really wouldn't like the reverential silence of the cemetery. In fact, if you gathered together all of the instruments (see two?) and song you find memorialized on headstones in this neighborhood, the prairie would be alive with angelic acoustics. [2012]

Always Loved, Deeply Missed & Never Forgotten
Praise Adonai From the Rising of the Sun / To the End of Everyday

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Steinbach, Manitoba

Focus on Heritage Cemetery:  Just to the north of Steinbach are Lakes Manitoba and Winnipeg (and so many more). Sailing the summers away must have been popular with the Wiebe clan and their friends. So much is captured in this simple scene: the love of place, the love of action, the love of friends, and the love from above . . . forever. [2012]

"Forever . . . Soar with Friends"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Steinbach, Manitoba

Focus on Heritage Cemetery:  Steinbach was settled by Mennonites from the Ukraine but of German origin. Starting in the 1870s, they came to farm the Canadian prairies where they and their descendants fell in love with the land. For a glimpse of the Funks' earthly heaven, look at both sides of their memorial. [2012]

Our Family Chain is Broken and Nothing Seems the Same
... But As God Calls Us One By One, The Chain Will Link Again

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Steinbach, Manitoba

Focus on Heritage Cemetery:  The Steinbach community is richly traditional, but Motumbo's 'tumb-stone' is not only richly traditional, it is richly Canadian! Steinbach's main cemetery is alive with memorials that blend the sacred and the secular. [2012]

"I wonder if there is Hockey in Heaven?"