Thursday, February 28, 2013

Austin, Texas

Methodist Branding:   Empty cross and cloven flame:  each one in two parts.  The flame is divided in two.  The cross has two bars.  It's a perfect symbol for a new denomination, as of 1968, that was formed by a merger of two churches:  the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Now, see if you can divine the Trinity in the Cross and Flame.  Texas State Cemetery.   [2009]

Eternal Love for our Son David William, His Wife Diana
And Our Granddaughters Cherise and Courtney

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chesapeake, Virginia

Methodist Branding:   The late Edward J. Mikula designed the Cross and Flame of the United Methodist Church.  His guiding principle:  "You can't have elegance without simplicity."  Could you say the same thing about the design of grave markers?  Chesapeake Memorial Gardens.  [2012]

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Autaugaville, Alabama

Methodist Branding:  When the Pearsons were born, most Methodists were part of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but in 1968 two different denominations joined together to form the United Methodist Church. The new church got its own logo, which looks good in either black-and-white or color. It even looks good in the pouring rain. Rocky Hill Cemetery. [2013]

Monday, February 25, 2013

Harrisonville, Pennsylvania

Methodist Branding:   Can you guess the denomination of the church by reading the Rev's headstone?  It carries one of the most recognizable denominational logos, the cross and flame of the United Methodist Church.  You could probably even guess the name of the church if you knew a bit of history.  It's named after one of the founders of American Methodism, Francis Asbury.  Asbury UMC Cemetery.  [2010]

Friday, February 22, 2013

Granby, Quebec

Food from Chez Trudeau:  On La Rue Principale is Chez Trudeau, which has been serving Granby since 1934. Wonder how it began? Visit the cemetery and find the grave of Fernand Trudeau, son of the founder. On his headstone, you will find what La Cantine looked like when he was a boy. Here is a headstone that doubles as a historical marker. [2011 and 2009]

La Cantine
Tu es mon repos Seigneur
une priere s.v.p.
Chez Trudeau
Cantine Restaurant

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Steinbach, Manitoba

Food from McDonald's:  Although there is nothing to eat on this grave marker, there is a place where you could find food. Just look under the 'golden arches.' But wait: The only thing there is a maple leaf. Identities are increasingly bound to the corporations that serve us throughout life. Heritage Cemetery. [2012]

Monday, February 18, 2013

Elllsworth, Wisconsin

Food from the Garden:  There is no doubt that gardening was the most important fount of identity in this couple's life.  Their working garden is on the headstone; a rake for God to use is in the contiguous zone; and three garden pots planted with flowers complete the ensemble.  Maple Grove Cemetery.  [2012]

God's Garden

Friday, February 15, 2013

Meridian, Mississippi

Food as 'Grave Goods':  As Mardi Gras approaches, the beads come out and the liquor flows.  Cemeteries seem not to be exempt.  Although food is not common on Christian graves, this is the burial place of the King and Queen of the Gypsies.  In 1910, the New York Times reported that five chiefs of the great gypsy clans met in Washington and elected Emil Mitchell to become King of the Gypsies.  This year, though, it is his wife, Kelly, who gets the beads.  She also gets the apples and the J├Ągermeister.  Rose Hill Cemetery.  [2013]

Wife of Emil Mitchell

Queen of the Gypsies

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Honolulu, Hawaii

Food as 'Grave Goods':  Fresh fruit to eat is commonly put on Buddhist graves (though most Buddhists today are cremated). And don't be surprised if you see tea or sake, too. Food becomes the medium by which the living honor departed souls. Oahu Cemetery. [2011]

Monday, February 11, 2013

Madison, Connecticut

Food as 'Grave Goods':  Since Paleolithic times, food has been buried with the dead. Just look at one of Egyptologist James Henry Breasted's sketches below. Christianity, however, made clear that the body requires no nourishment in the afterlife. Food, as a result, is never interred with bodily remains and only rarely appears on headstones. An exception appears below. [2009]

"Looking Down Into the Grave
of a Late Stone Age Egyptian"
J. H. Breasted, Ancient Times, 1916,  p. 38

Friday, February 8, 2013

Barre, Vermont

Hope Cemetery:  In the early 20th century, immigrants from northern Italy brought their chisels and hammers to the Green Mountains and applied them to one of the world's greatest reserves of tombstone-quality granite.  Back in the old country, they had role models like Michelangelo.  In Vermont, they became role models.  Marking the grave of Albert Ceppi is a bas relief of the sculptor drawing both himself and Jesus out of a granite block: a dual resurrection.  [2002]
Scultore - Supremo


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Barre, Vermont

Hope Cemetery:  Joey Laguerre loved cars, but he died in a snowmobile accident in 1991.  Left behind was his race car, #61.  It became, in a half-size granite replica, his chariot to the afterlife.  But it also became one of the signature sculptures of Barre's granite masons:  proof positive that Italy's loss was America's gain.  [2002]

Monday, February 4, 2013

Barre, Vermont

Hope Cemetery:  With the Rock of Ages granite quarry next door, you might expect to find the world's best granite memorials on display at Barre's Hope Sculpture Garden.  Sorry, Hope Cemetery.  How better to say "At Rest" than with a bed (or two: so 1950s!).  It looks like the Halvosas are wearing new pajamas.  [1983]
Set me as a seal
Upon thine heart
For love is strong
As death
Song of Solomon 8:6

Friday, February 1, 2013

Delmar, Delaware

Etchographic Portraiture:  The advice fits the portraits perfectly:  2nd is the first loser.  A life of competition can't be captured in a single head shot.  It requires more context than that.  Let's see the jersey, let's see the ball, let's see the bleachers, let's see the helmet, let's see the wheels, let's see the track.  A complete picture is emerging, isn't it?  [2010]

"2nd is the 1st Loser."