Ireland has three patron saints: Patrick, Columba, and Brigid (or Bridget). During my 2009 trip to Ireland, our tour guide took us on a brief detour to visit St. Bridget’s Well. Alongside a country road in front of a small cemetery, there is a little concrete, sod-covered cave leading to the well. Those who come to pray at the well leave items behind, creating a colorful, 3D collage.
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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.
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.”
I tried to find information on the name Lodemia, since I had never heard it. Google mainly showed me individual people in a few southern and Midwestern states with the name. According to this website, as of February of 2011, there were 11 people with the name in the United States.
I had originally photographed the Hamilton stone for a post on symbolic overload. Then I saw the grave offering left for John E. Hamilton, Sr. How can your heart not melt?
There aren’t a lot of crosses in Gettysburg National Military Park. The 142nd Pennsylvania has this rough-hewn, rugged cross.
John T. Lace
Engineer on Lake Shore R.R.
Was killed at Nottingham
March 22, 1881
Aged 58 ys. 3 ms.
Beloved in life, lamented in death
I had to photograph the tombstone of John Lace because I recognized his place of death. Nottingham was once a separate community on the eastern edge of Cleveland, not far from where I live now at the Cleveland-Euclid border. Named for Henry Nottingham, a 19th century railroadman, the name of the town lives on in Nottingham Road.