Archive for January, 2013
Posted in Cemetery Sculpture, Symbolism, tagged cross, Crosses, department of veterans affairs, government marker, lake view cemetery, star of david, symbolism, veteran on January 28, 2013 | 1 Comment »
In a tiny little veterans section of Lake View Cemetery, I found a more diverse selection of the emblems of belief available for government headstones for veterans. All the available emblems are listed here.
I found two particularly interesting names when I visited Big Spring Presbyterian Cemetery. The first one, Abbidora, I can’t find anything about online. Now, not everything is on the internet (gasp!) but when I did a Google search for the name, the only Abbidora I found was…this one, on a cemetery transcription project website. I’m guessing that it’s probably a compound name made from two more common names, but that’s just an assumption.
Fleeta is also an unusual name where I live, but not nearly so obscure. All the baby names websites that track name popularity in history showed that “Fleeta” appeared on the top 1000 baby names in the United States in the 1890s. (Not high up in the top 1000, mind you – it was definitely towards the bottom.) With it being less popular, none of them I checked even attempted to provide a meaning.
I’m not sure that this photo really does this stone justice. The artwork is crisp and beautifully rendered, but in the unseasonably warm and sunny weather last weekend, the thing that stopped me in my tracks was the sparkle. The gold on the stone is not just a flatly applied color, but is textured, so that it catches the light and makes the stone glow.
Dennis Jon Walker’s tombstone is so dense with information about him that I stopped the car to see it. On top, in addition to his name and dates of his birth and death, you get his nickname and the important familial relationships in his life.
I’m going to assume that the hose, hoe, and rake are representative of an interest in gardening or landscaping, and I think that the phrase under the globe is “world traveler.” Clearly, dirt and dust are not friendly to this artwork. And his career – a UPS worker, it appears.
And on this side, we have hobbies – biking and fishing. The Ohio State symbol – an alumnus, or just a sports fan?
And on the front, a nicely artistic integration of yet another interest, photography, with his portrait.
It was a surprisingly nice day here Saturday, so I went over to Lake View to take some photos with my new camera. It’s pretty much the same as my last point-and-shoot digital, which had mysteriously gotten a scratch on the lens despite the protective plastic covering that closes over it when it’s not in use. I wasn’t alone, though. First of all, I encountered a horde of runners from Case Western. (I know they were from Case because the car with them had a license plate that read “CWRU RUN,” in addition to the fact that most of them were wearing athletic gear with CWRU or Case on it.)
When their pounding footfalls were finally far enough in the distance, the wildlife reemerged. I took photos for a while around a bush because birds were flitting back and forth.
I caught a glimpse of a cat as well, but it eluded my camera. I’m sure it was wondering why the crazy lady was trying to communicate.
Squirrels will pick their heads up when you yell at them, making them slightly more obedient than cats. Who knew?
But I had to move on to other parts of the cemetery when I saw them. *insert ominous music* There was a whole flock, and I don’t need another goose-Forester showdown on a cemetery lane.
Most tombstones just list dates or years of birth and death, and the simple dash is the indication of what they are. Those that do use words usually preface the death date with the straightforward word “died,” with “departed this life” a distant second for 19th and early 20th century tombstones. But the ones I find more intriguing and never fail to photograph are the ones who use some more obscure, usually poetic phrasing. These frequently reveal something about the beliefs of the person who commissioned the headstone. In the case of James Eddy, his death in 1887 was described by his remaining family as “passed to spirit life.”
So help me out here. I’ve been trying to figure out the name of the farm where this young man died. I think it’s a capitalized proper noun. If it helps to know, this photograph is from Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, and the year of death is 1822, so the location would have existed in the early days of Cincinnati or the outlying areas.