Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tombstone Hunting

Does it make me weird that I enjoy going to cemeteries? I just blame it on the genealogist in me. We spent the morning today hanging out in one of our local cemeteries. We went to find a couple of tombstones that someone had requested images of on the Find a Grave website. Someone had gotten a photo for me and I figured I needed to pay back the favor. I was lucky enough to find the office open so I didn't have to wander the cemetery aimlessly trying to find where they were buried, which is good thing since none of the lots were labeled. When I showed her who I was looking for she said that dozens of people had been there already looking for their graves and that they had no tombstones. Well, it would have been nice if someone had noted this on the website. But not one to be easily deterred I asked where they were buried anyways so I could take a picture of the lack of tombstone to prove it wasn't there. The lady did me one better and pulled out the cemetery records and let me take a picture of the page showing they were buried, and where. So between this photo of the near empty lot:

and the records page showing they were in fact buried there I think I can consider this request fulfilled.

But the fun doesn't end there. We just had to wander around and see what there was to see. Did you know that tombstones come in all shapes and sizes? I guess the good old fashioned rounded top stone is out and things like this are in:

That would be a school house complete with a little bell and school bus. He was the superintendent of schools for 20 years.

This one is probably hard for you to read, but right in the middle it says, "The Avon Lady". This woman must have really loved selling Avon to have it put on her tombstone. If you aren't into funny shapes, you can always go this route:

The mural. Or if shapes are your thing you could go for this:

The arch. Or if you are really vain, just go all the way:

The monolith. They had an entire cross laid out with their graves in the middle with a huge picture of Christ in the middle. Could be seen as religious, or just plain ostentatious. Especially right next to the empty plot full of people who can't even afford a headstone. Oh well.

I was on my way over to make fun of this headstone:

with it's Big Bird carving in the middle. But then I read what it said. They lost their 3 month old baby. So instead of laughing I was now crying. And then right next door was this one:

She was 22 when she died and had only been married 2 years. Still crying. I took a lot of pictures so my camera would be to my face and Anton wouldn't notice me being all silly and crying over people I didn't even know. I wandered away from the sad tombstones and let this guy cheer me up a bit:

And then it was back to laughing, this time at the innumerable bunches of tacky fake flowers everywhere.

Almost every grave had some.

Even some graves with no headstone.

And I do mean they were everywhere.

Do you see them all in the distance there? I made Anton promise me not to have a built in vase on my grave and no fake flowers allowed. Real ones laid in front of my tombstone will do just fine, thank you. Better yet, just bury me and go on with your life and don't worry about the flowers at all.


Andrea said...

The fake flowers last longer than real ones making it easier for someone to not have to come back as often. It looks like that cemetary gets a lot of people who leave flowers. Some places there are no flowers at all, that is sad. It's just sad in general. But i do like the school house one!!

Harmony said...

Funny that a post about cemeteries was so entertaining. That shot of the cherub was so cool-you take pictures from such cool angles. I always laugh at fake flowers too. I promise to come and leave you unnaturally colored flowers, okay?

Stephanie said...

I totally love cemeteries too! I'm so glad I'm not alone in this. Every town we visit, I try to stop at the cemetery. You should go to Selma, Alabama, if you guys have time before you go. Probably on of the prettiest ones I've been to. They have all this Spanish moss hanging everywhere--it's beautiful.