Friday, December 30, 2016

Frederica, Delaware

Twas the Week After Christmas:  The end is near! Not your end (hopefully), but the year's end. What we need is a bridge that will carry us across the canyon and into 2017. The best bridge for the job is a covered bridge, and fortunately many of them are to be found in cemeteries. Barretts Chapel Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Lancaster, Virginia

Twas the Week After Christmas:  The wreaths remain. They are evergreen and here for the winter. But, they are not your everyday evergreens. They capture Virginia's Tidewater perfectly. One is made of magnolia leaves and the other is adorned with oyster shells. St. Mary's Whitechapel Cemetery. [2016]

Monday, December 26, 2016

Chesapeake, Virginia

Twas the Week After Christmas:  Here's proof that Santa stops at cemeteries. But, it's the day after Christmas, and the boxes remain unopened. Maybe they get opened on Boxing Day, which is today! Chesapeake Memorial Gardens. [2012]

Friday, December 23, 2016

Brusly, Louisiana

Twas the Week Before Christmas:  "Merry Christmas Mom & Dad / Maw & Grandpa." Here is what we have become. We still try to make you proud of us. "We ❤ you and miss you." St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery. [2011]

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Batesburg, South Carolina

Twas the Week Before Christmas:  This is how we imagine the Holy Family: Mary and Joseph as a young woman and an old man. If Mary were not in her early teens when she gave birth to Jesus, that would be a surprise since it was the custom at the time for women to marry young. As for Joseph, there seems to be little reason to think he was much older than Mary. Men married young, too. Joseph may have been a few years older than his bride, but not decades (as suggested by this figurine). Amick Grove Pentecostal Church Cemetery. [2016]

Monday, December 19, 2016

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Twas the Week Before Christmas: The location is Chattanooga, so what would you expect in the middle of the national cemetery there? A Chattanooga Choo Choo, of course. Buried here are Medal of Honor recipients. They participated in the "Great Locomotive Chase" during the Civil War. Chattanooga National Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, December 16, 2016

Frederick, Maryland

"In Hopes that St. Nicholas Soon Would Be There": Little known fact: Santa Claus visits cemeteries, too. Although he packs some flowers for the adults in the neighborhood, he spends most of his time leaving love tokens for the children. Mount Olivet Cemetery. [2006]

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fredericksburg, Virginia

"In Hopes that St. Nicholas Soon Would Be There":  Little known fact: Santa Claus visits cemeteries, too. In his sleigh he carries signature likenesses of himself, plus Christmas posies, both perfect for bringing color to a season of drabness. Sunset Memorial Gardens. [2015]

Monday, December 12, 2016

Woodsboro, Maryland

"In Hopes that St. Nicholas Soon Would Be There":  Meet the concept of seasonal headstones. Sorry, "headwoods." Not only does this one bear all the marks of the Christmas season, it is made out of the perfect material for this particular place: wood for Woodsboro. Mt. Hope Cemetery. [2014]

Friday, December 9, 2016

Jefferson City, Missouri

Cemeteries as Museums of Telecommunications:  The Palm Pilot has a small niche in the history of telecommunication, but the niche is so small some of us have a hard time remembering what this even did! Anyone have a love affair with their Palm Pilot that they would like to share? Hawthorn Memorial Gardens. [2015]

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Toms River, New Jersey

Cemeteries as Museums of Telecommunications:  Remember when the cordless telephone first appeared? Remember when it became mobile? Telecommunication technology made a major leap forward in the early 1990s and marketing followed suit. Of course, the early adopters were the young. St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery. [2015]

Monday, December 5, 2016

Haines City, Florida

Cemeteries as Museums of Telecommunications: Remember when telephones looked like this? Remember when they all were black? Are you old enough to recall what a party line was? Even as the artifacts disappear, their granite images will exist for all time on cemetery headstones. Forest Hill Cemetery. [2014]

Friday, December 2, 2016

Ripley, Ohio

Nicknames as Markers of Femininity: Meet "Care Bear."  She must have been in her 30s before she acquired her nickname. That's because the Care Bears didn't appear on the pop culture stage until the early 1980s. Maplewood Cemetery. [2014]

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Greensburg, Indiana

Nicknames as Markers of Femininity:  Meet Dolly. She must have been "a doll." That would fit the essence of the era when she came of age, the 1950s. In her case, though, the nickname seems to be a familiar contraction of an unfamiliar first name. St. Mary's Cemetery. [2014]

Monday, November 28, 2016

Bloomfield, New Mexico

Nicknames as Markers of Femininity: Meet "Sugar": Loving wife & mother. Would Sugar ever be a man's nickname? Probably not. Women are sweet and their nicknames should be, as well. At least, that is what her minions think. [2013]

Friday, November 25, 2016

Haines City, Florida

Nicknames as Markers of Masculinity:  Meet Big Sam. His nickname introduces you to his personality and, probably, his size. He, or someone close to him, also wanted you to know what he did for a living. Forest Hill Cemetery. [2014]

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Spicewood, Texas

Nicknames as Markers of Masculinity:  Meet Rusty. His first, middle, and last names are fully there, and so is his nickname, which seems to have nothing to do with the other three. Perhaps he had red hair, or perhaps he just liked the manliness of Rusty. Be sure to read the footnote: "As you are now, so once was I." Fall Creek Cemetery. [2015]

Monday, November 21, 2016

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Nicknames as Markers of Masculinity:  Meet Butch. His name was Horace, but he took on the aura of Butch, and that changed his personality. Is that possible? Does your name or nickname shape your personality? Or is it just an inert accouterment of life? Atlantic City Cemetery. [2016]

Friday, November 18, 2016

Beckley, West Virginia

Nicknames as Ties That Bind:  Meet Herb and Vici. "You and I / We're meant to be / We've worked, and danced, and played / We've grown together. You are my best friend / Your dreams are mine and mine are yours / If I could do it all over again / I'd do it all the same / The HIS and HERS have become OURS / Two - but really one . . . I love you . . . FOREVER." Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens. [2014]

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Round Rock, Texas

Nicknames as Ties That Bind:  Meet Bobo and Lulu.  Roberto became Bobo; Luz became Lulu. They sound so perfect together: symmetrical, alliterative, and almost rhyming. What we don't always know from headstones is how nicknames were pronounced (Bob-O or Bo-Bo?) and intoned. Round Rock Cemetery. [2015]

Monday, November 14, 2016

Salem, New Jersey

Nicknames as Ties That Bind:  Meet Goat and Hat. Are you and your mate going to take your pet names for each other to the grave? If you do, they might just put a smile on the face of future generations. And, "Everlasting Love" may be a way of sweetening all those smiles. East View Cemetery. [2016]

Friday, November 11, 2016

Rantoul, Illinois

Nicknames as Ties That Bind:  Meet Easy and Dot. There's no story behind Dot. It's just a one-syllable version of a three-syllable name. But, there must be a story behind Easy, which shares two initial letters with Earl, but then veers off in a different direction. Rantoul Ludlow Cemetery. [2015]

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Menomonie, Wisconsin

Nicknames as Ties That Bind:  Meet Bill and Ms Ellie: "Each for the other. Both for God." If you grew up in the mid-20th century, you had at least one friend named Bill or, as a youngster, Billy. Never would they be called William or even Will. As for Ms Ellie: think about how the atmospherics change depending on the way it is pronounced. Mis Ellie vs. Miz Ellie. Evergreen Cemetery. [2012]

Monday, November 7, 2016

Cynthiana, Kentucky

Nicknames as Ties That Bind:  Meet Charlie and Susie. Their childhood nicknames reflect the habits of the 1950s when almost everyone had a pet name that rhymed with Sparky. Some kept those names for life, as did this couple. Perhaps it was those nicknames, reminders of being young and in love, that kept them together for over four decades. Battle Grove Cemetery.  [2015]

Friday, November 4, 2016

Culpeper, Virginia

Frightening Places? Now that Allhallowtide is behind us, ghosts disappear from the graveyards but other accouterments of autumn remain until Thanksgiving. Fairview Cemetery. [2014]

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Baltimore, Maryland

Frightening Places? If any place has a reason to be haunted, it's the cemetery. Today is the third day of Allhallowtide, All Souls Day, and like the other three days, it's all about cemeteries and their ghostly denizens. Oak Lawn Cemetery. [2014]

Monday, October 31, 2016

Pahrump, Nevada

Frightening Places? Cemeteries are the perfect places to spin the Halloween narrative, and why not have some fun with it? Perhaps those pumpkins are smiling because they know they and their interred master are putting a smile on somebody's face. Chief Tecopa Cemetery West Lawn. [2016]

Friday, August 19, 2016

Beaumont, California

Flags as Icons of Cross-Cultural Identities:  In all likelihood she was born in Mexico and spent her life in the United States. Of both, she was obviously proud. As a mother, she was loved and will always be in the memories of her offspring. Was the rose chosen to symbolize her first name? Mountain View Cemetery. [2015]

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Frederick, Maryland

Flags as Icons of Cross-Cultural Identities: DRE ONE: It appears two times on this memorial, once in granite and once on the dog tag. Who knows what that means? Easier to figure out is the symbolism of the two flags: U.S. and Poland. But, the names do not sound very Polish. Mt. Olivet Cemetery. [2014]

Monday, August 15, 2016

Beckley, West Virginia

Flags as Icons of Cross-Cultural Identities:  He was a decorated veteran who must have spent some time in Korea. He wasn't old enough to serve in the Korean War, so he was probably assigned to one of American's dozen military bases in the ROK. Do you think that is where he met his wife? It looks like she embraced both cultures, and Christianity, too, judging from the praying hands. In all probability she was a Christian when they met, since half the South Korea population is Christian. Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens. [2014]

Friday, August 12, 2016

Yorba Linda, California

Focus on Presidential Grave Sites ~ Richard Nixon:  Buried  to President Nixon's left is the First Lady, Pat Nixon (who was never referred to as Patricia, nor was it her name!). She spent eight years as wife of the American Vice-President and eight years as wife of the the President: a fifth of her life. Chosen for his headstone: "Even when people can't speak your language, they can tell if you have love in your heart." That seems entirely appropriate for one of the most internationally traveled First Ladies, who was sometimes called "Madame Ambassador." [2016]

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Yorba Linda, California

Focus on Presidential Grave Sites ~ Richard Nixon:  America's 37th president was sworn into office on January 20, 1969. His term ended with his resignation at noon on August 9, 1974, while aboard Air Force One. A helicopter, Army One, took him from the White House to Andrews Air Fore Base, where he began the journey home to California. The chopper is on display at the Nixon Library. It all happened 42 years ago this week. Chosen for his headstone: "The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker." [2016]

Monday, August 8, 2016

Yorba Linda, California

Focus on Presidential Grave Sites ~ Richard Nixon:  The President and First Lady are buried on the grounds of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum just feet away from the bungalow where he was born in 1913. He remains the only American President born in California, but not the only one buried there. [2016]

Friday, August 5, 2016

Hoboken, Georgia

Golf Forever:  Read his full name: Doesn't it just sound like a golfer's name? Doesn't that italic type add some forward motion to the drive? And that t behind the golf balls: Is that a monogram signifying his family name? Evergreen Cemetery. [2012]

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Atlanta, Georgia

Golf Forever:  If you were at it in the 1930s and 40s, Bobby Jones would have been a name you knew. He's a legend, still, especially in his home state, where he founded "Augusta" and co-founded the Master's Tournament. Golf balls brought by the devout still spell out love at his grave. More interesting: the T (his middle initial) he chose for his headstone monogram. Oakland Cemetery. [2014]