Friday, February 28, 2014

Ladson, South Carolina

Precious Lord Take My Hand:  Oops! Look again. This one reads: "The Lord is My Shepherd" Always expect the unexpected. Trying to figure this out? Read posts for the entire week! Cherry Hill Cemetery. [2012]

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Griffin, Georgia

Precious Lord Take My Hand:  Finally, we have a memorial where not all the hands are white.  It looks like God's complexion might match the majority on planet earth.  New Oak Cemetery. [2014]

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

Precious Lord Take My Hand:  Earth is earth and heaven is heaven, and never the twain shall meet: except in cemeteries AND on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Michelangelo uses hands to symbolize the creation of Adam and, soon thereafter, Eve.  Memorials like this use hands to symbolize the return of their progeny to heaven. Spring Hill Cemetery. [2013]

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cartersville, Georgia

Precious Lord Take My Hand:  Some families are simply not satisfied with copy art alone. Here, gospel imagery is supplemented with a portrait, an epitaph, and two pall bearers. In the past, the dolphins would have been angels! Now, we are much more prone to mix religious and secular images to keep memories alive. Oak Hill Cemetery. [2013]

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mount Pleasant, Texas

Precious Lord Take My Hand:  Catalog art is available for tombstones, and this has been one of the early 21st century's most popular images.  It's from the iconic 20th century hymn:
      Precious Lord, take my hand
      Lead me on, let me stand
      I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
      Through the storm, through the night
      Lead me on to the light
      Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
Old Union Cemetery. [2012]

Friday, February 21, 2014

Windsor, Connecticut

Take My Hand:  Travis Thibodeaux penned the words when he was 12, and Wayne Toups made it popular. Although it wasn't written as an encomium to the eternal, you can almost hear hosts of heavenly angels using it to welcome this hand-holding couple to a distant shore.
        "Take my hand, say you'll be true
        Say those simple words, oh, I love you, only you
        Take my hand, oh, and hold it tight
        Take my hand and everything will be alright"
Elm Grove Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

White Pine, Tennessee

Take My Hand:  Hootie and the Blowfish sang it with such a good-time vibe, but they just might have had a cemetery in mind when they gave voice to these lines:
         "Want you to hold my hand
         Hold my hand
         I'll take you to the promised land
         Hold my hand"
Edwards Chapel Cemetery. [2009]

Across the years
I will walk with you – 
in deep green forests,
on shores of sand
and when our time
on earth is through
in heaven, too,
you will have my hand.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Palmer, Massachusetts

Take My Hand: You've heard the interviews on radio and read the stories online:  It's been 50 years since The Beatles hit the streets and stages of America.  Don't you think this couple must have really appreciated at least one of their songs?
        "Yeah, you've got that something
        I think you'll understand
        When I'll say that something
        I wanna hold your hand
        I wanna hold your hand
        I wanna hold your hand"
St. Ann's Cemetery.  [2013]

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lancaster, Minnesota

Be My Valentine:  Did you remember your mom today?  Here's a headstone that seems to have jumped off a Valentine's card.  Hey, Hallmark: Does this memorial give you any ideas for investment? Headline of the future: "Hallmark Takes Its Sympathy Cards to the Cemetery With a New Line of Permanent Memorials For Your Loved Ones' Graves." Riverview Memorial Gardens. [2012]

Our Angel in Heaven
Forever in our Hearts
"We Miss You Mom"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Yorkshire, New York

Be My Valentine:  Here is the perfect example of American folk art on a headstone.  Pay what you will for fine, photographic-quality etchings, but none will draw you in like this one.  The colors are cool, the personalities are magnetic, and the stone has a charisma all its own.  It must put a smile on every visitor's face. Yorkshire Cemetery. [2013]

Monday, February 10, 2014

Frederica, Delaware

Be My Valentine:  Valentine's Day is this Friday, but why limit love to a single day? Let's make everyday this week a day of hearts, roses, and poetry.  You can check off all three when you parse the parts of this memorial.  See the heart?  See the rose?  See the poetry?  If you don't see the poetry, look at her name.  Barratts Chapel Cemetery.  [2013]

Friday, February 7, 2014

Corinth, Kentucky

"I Teach, I Touch the Future":  The one-room school house has become an icon of American culture. Perhaps she taught in one, perhaps that's where she touched the future. Or, perhaps, she just imagined her own classroom as a school house of its own. What are we to conclude when we compare her memorial emblem with his? That hers was a world of work and his was a world of leisure? [2012]

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Grand Forks, North Dakota

"I Teach, I Touch the Future":  On this stone, no text says teacher, but it doesn't have to. Someone took their school books with them when they departed, and we might expect they were teachers' editions. Beyond history and math, however, is a book of recipes: a reminder that this teacher (and her ilk) had two full-time jobs, one at school and one at home. Apparently, she handled them well and came up smelling like a rose. No thorns on this stem! [2012]

Monday, February 3, 2014

Colerain, Ohio

"I Teach, I Touch the Future":  How do you achieve immortality? Ask a veteran teacher. They will have an answer for you, and in some way will paraphrase Kentucky writer Jesse Stuart. During what must have been no more than a decade of teaching, "Jake" touched the future and took the honor of teaching with him to the grave. Now: The Teacher is At Peace. Beavis Cedar Grove Cemetery. [2010]

I am firm in my
belief that a teacher
lives on and on
through his students.
Good teaching is
forever and the teacher is immortal.
Jesse Stuart