Monday, February 29, 2016

Old Du Quoin, Illinois

Lunch Time in the Cemetery:  Let's start with hamburgers. The name, like the food, refers to Hamburg, Germany. Seems like every region of the 'Old Country' had its own way of preparing meat. Hamburgers are fully ensconced in popular culture today, but their origins are in the folk cultures of the North European Plain. Old Du Quoin Cemetery. [2015]

Friday, February 26, 2016

Morden, Manitoba

Left Behind ~ Kid Art:  That drawing is in a frame. Has it really survived from the 1990s when Brenda might have been in grade school? Or, was it plucked from the family archives and delivered to the cemetery by a grown-up Brenda? Do the math and offer your own explanation. Memorial Gardens. [2012]


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Pomona, California

Left Behind ~ Kid Art:  "Happy Birthday, Dad." We don't know whether a son or daughter left that greeting behind, but we do know that tomorrow the whole family might make a visit to the grave. Tomorrow is the tenth of anniversary of his death. Or, judging from the cross, the commencement of everlasting life. Pomona Cemetery. [2013]


Monday, February 22, 2016

Franklin, West Virginia

Left Behind ~ Kid Art:  Here's proof he had grandkids, proof that family communication goes on after death, proof that love endures. Fresh from Sunday School? Probably. As ephemeral as life itself? Assuredly. Cedar Hill Cemetery. [2014]


Friday, February 19, 2016

Decatur, Illinois

Left Behind ~ Family Photos:  As a boy and as a man, it looks like he lived a life full of rugged sports and high adventure. And, perhaps, he was on his way to establishing a family of his own. Now, his parents or maybe his sister use snapshots in time to keep his memory alive. Boiling Springs Cemetery. [2015]


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Damascus, Maryland

Left Behind ~ Family Photos:  My, how the family has grown! It looks like grandma is still around to enjoy her grandkids, but grandpa Mutt seems to have checked out before the most recent arrivals. Wouldn't he be proud? Don't let the name of the churchyard confuse you. The building has filtered down to a congregation of Christian immigrants from India. Did you know that the disciple Thomas led the diffusion of Christianity into South Asia? Now, the St. Thomas Christians have come to the United States and found an available building in a town called Damascus. St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Church Cemetery. [2007]


Monday, February 15, 2016

Tampa, Florida

Left Behind ~ Family Photos:  The grandkids, which would include one half of the couple in the snapshot, never got to know grandpa James, But, grandma Geraldine must have been a beloved member of the family. Though gone for ten years, her offspring still made it a point to share their adventures abroad with her. Could they have been on their honeymoon? Do you recognize the city? Myrtle Hill Cemetery. [2014]


Friday, February 12, 2016

Harristown, Illinois

Non-Free-Standing Rondelles:   Jesus may have been born in Bethlehem, but his family was from Nazareth and that's where he grew up. That makes him a Nazarene, and gives this church its name. Here lies a minister of the Church of the Nazarene. Harristown Cemetery. [2015]


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Columbia, Missouri

Free-Standing Rondelles:   The American Legion medallion is all over the country, in more places than cemeteries. But, it would be difficult to find a cemetery anywhere that does not have some reminder of the Legion's ubiquitous efforts to acknowledge the sacrifices of those killed in action, such as this 28 year old who lost his life in the Great War. Could the Legion have provided the headstone as well? It does not suggest a 1918 vintage. Millersburg Cemetery at Heritage Baptist Church. [2015]


Monday, February 8, 2016

Charlton, Massachusetts

Free-Standing Rondelles:  This one says "Veteran of the Cross Methodist Episcopal Church." Gravely Speaking, it marks the final resting place of a nineteenth-century clergyman, a Methodist minister. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." James 1:12. Union Cemetery. [2013]


Friday, February 5, 2016

Red Bud, Illinois

Donor Rondelles:  According to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading cause of death (by far!) for 25-30 year olds is "unintentional injuries."  According to the information on the headstone, his death occurred on January 1. You don't need to know the rest of the story to know the rest of the story. What you should know, however, is that something of his very being (a heart, an eye, a skin graft?) allowed someone else to go on living. Here lies a Gift of Life Donor. St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery. [2015]


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cuba, Missouri

Donor Rondelles:  What's in your wallet? A card or driver's license that makes you part of the donor class? The Gift of Life Donor Program has been making organs, eyes, and tissue available to waiting recipients for decades, but it seems that only in the1990s did the donor medals start to appear on cemetery landscapes. Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. [2015]


Monday, February 1, 2016

Perry, New York

Donor Rondelles:  As a Gift of Life Donor, he went on living even after death. Somebody may have gotten his eyes, his heart or another organ, some skin or bone tissue. That was his last deed, and it certainly speaks louder than his words ever could. Now, his donor medal is permanently affixed to the center of his headstone. Prospect Hill Cemetery. [2013]