Driven by for decades

Like that U-Haul van, I’ve driven past this cemetery while heading somewhere else — in my case, for decades. Today, after a jaunt into National Lumber for paint chips and moth traps, the guys and I went in.

It’s much larger than I supposed, with widely spaced rows of markers. There are legible carvings in slate, lichen capped marble stones in various states of blur (having not weathered the years as well), and the usual variety of shapes.

Abigail, Rebecca, Hannah, Mary, and Lucinda. Albert, Enoch, James, John and Ezra.

Nineteenth century headstones always get me thinking about history in general and slavery in particular. This person died during the Civil War, say, or this one died two years before the Emancipation Proclamation.

For the entirety of Edward Hartt’s life, slavery was alive and well in America.

There were many headstones for babies and even more for people who died in their twenties. I didn’t do an inventory or anything, but I only saw one older person’s grave — a septuagenarian. It makes you appreciate how brief lives were before antibiotics, vaccinations, surgical interventions and dental care (can you imagine dying of an abscess in a rotted tooth?)

I laughed at Frank’s gravestone. Because no text carved in stone is casual, I wondered who decided to put that period after his name and was there any debate about it?

There was a lot of storm damage. Newton’s community clean up day has designated this as a site, but as someone who’s coordinated a few of these events, I wonder what exactly people will do. Maybe a crew will come in with chainsaws, first.

The textures were gorgeous, including those associated with the neighboring lumberyard.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! It is actually warm enough this afternoon to go outside without a down jacket!