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]