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Friday, February 6, 2009


Friday Photo #13 
this is going to sound weird, but ...

I like cemeteries. They're really quiet and contemplative. Plus they're full of history... personal history. There's this great old cemetery two blocks away from us which contains some wonderfully weathered tombstones dating as far back as the early 1800s. 

The historical significance is worth the trip alone, but what fascinates me most are the tokens loved ones leave behind in a desperate attempt to cling to the memory of those lost.

Many are adorned with traditional statuary of saints, Jesus or Mary, but there are a lot of unorthodox, more personal items lovingly placed on these grave sites. Things like gnomes riding frogs, pinwheels, bunnies and squirrels, sea shells, baseball caps, even a small concrete ducks dressed in season-appropriate attire. At a relatively new grave there was a sad, picnic tableau complete with Weber grill, empty beer cans and burned out bottle rocket remains. 

But by far the most crushing scene in the entire cemetery was a large, brightly painted Tonka Truck atop an enormous headstone lined with a child's trinkets, lovingly left by his parents whose shattered hearts will never be whole again...even if they live to be one hundred years old. 

You know one of these days I'm going to get my act together and make a photo book out of these shots titled "Tokens". It seems somehow disrespectful to just leave these photos lingering on my desktop. 

1 comment:

Rachel Tamed said...

I grew up in a small town in Nevada (actually, it is the largest historical landmark in the country, yikes!). The cemetery in my little town is spectacular, because many of the tokens are aged and strange. You have inspired me to take some photos the next time I make it home.