graveyards


  1. Let me thread you a story… (1-16)
  2. Sam Hotchkiss is the caretaker down to Shady Groves Cemetery. Sam says as how he likes his job, walking through the quiet and peace,
  3. making sure the residents are happy. Most enjoy the peace as much as Sam. Any that don’t tend not to stay in Shady Groves.
  4. They get up and wander ‘round town and sometimes have to be dealt with by Madame Nimby and her son Rupert.
  5. Others just wander the streets taking in the sights, seeing what old friends and family are up to.
  6. Wanderin’ gets old after awhile—and takes a passel of energy. When they dissipate enough of that restless mojo they go back
  7. to Shady Groves and their sod beds, wrap their grass blankets back around themselves, and rest eternal.
  8. Sam takes particular care of the children there. He feels bad they got cut off so young and didn’t have a chance to live long and prosper.
  9. He likes to leave marbles by their graves so they can have a game now and then. Used to leave stuffed animals, too,
  10. but they tended to get soggy when it rained and the kids didn’t care for ‘em much after that.
  11. Electronic games don’t work for similar reasons. ‘Sides, it’s difficult for the kids to maintain corporeal fingers long enough to swipe and tap.
  12. They do enjoy a nice game of hide n’ seek, sometimes with Sam, sometimes with each other.
  13. Ain’t rightly fair when they play with Sam, though. If he gets too close to finding them, they can just go invisible.
  14. That trick don’t work with each other—spirits can always see other spirits—but Sam is a mere mortal, after all.
  15. Them kids laugh and laugh when Sam seeks and seeks and never finds. “Play fair, you kids!” he’ll call out to them.
  16. But mostly he’s laughing when he says it. Can’t blame kids for having a good time.

This tale can also be found on Twitter @downportalville.
You can read about us from the beginning at: http://bit.ly/2k1j8B7

Random quote of the day:

“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.”

—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

graves4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Random quote of the day:

“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”

—Marilyn Monroe, My Story

 

 A personal memory

Every time I’ve visited Marilyn’s grave—and given that I worked in Westwood when I was younger, it’s been quite often—there are fresh flowers and the imprint of red lips on the stone. Westwood Memorial Cemetery persists in cleaning them off, but fans persist in leaving them, and even after Joe DiMaggio stopped having roses delivered weekly to Marilyn’s grave (for some twenty years), the fans also kept up that tradition. I last visited her in 1993. Although we buried my dad, Tom, at the veteran’s cemetery in Riverside, his memorial service was held at Westwood. I stepped out for air at one point and wandered the grounds, eventually going over to say hello to Marilyn. The flowers and red lips were in place, as always. As I turned back to the memorial chapel I saw my dad standing outside in the Marine Corps dress blues we’d buried him in—looking sad, his hat in his hands. He glanced up, our eyes met, he acknowledged me with a nod, then he was gone.

 marilyn4WP@@@

 

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

 

Random quote of the day:

“The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”

—George Eliot, Middlemarch

(Thanks to sartorias for this quote.)

churchyard4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Those of you who have been reading my Livejournal blog for awhile may remember this story, but as it’s mysterious and happened to me, I thought it worth posting again.

In June of 2005 I decided to visit Woodlawn Cemetery on 14th and Pico in Santa Monica, California. Not a huge cemetery, surrounded by urban blight on three of its four sides and a junior college on the fourth, but a beautiful place inside the grounds.  A number of old, gnarled, and interesting trees are scattered throughout the graveyard, and since it was established in the nineteenth century it has a wide range of dates on the headstones.

I’ve liked walking through cemeteries since I was quite young (morbid child that I am), and I’d been to Woodlawn often back in the day.  I also used it in one of my novels (Shivery Bones), dredged up from memory.  I decided to return to see if my memory had gotten things right, and also to take some pictures with my (then) new camera. Because the sun was so bright, the sky so blue, the trees so plentiful, I got lots of shadow-and-light shots. The headstones held many poignant stories, too—heartbreak and mysteries, brief lives, some nearly a century old. I doubt anyone knows the story behind the words on those stones anymore, probably not even the folks who keep the cemetery records.

One story that has always intrigued me centers around two small markers over by the western fence (but on this picture you’ll have to click on the picture and go to Photobucket to see the full picture because WordPress keeps cutting it off):

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No dates, no other graves nearby, just these two little headstones. My imagination has always roamed a great deal over what story might lie behind the starkness of these two little markers.

The next night as I went through the pictures, I discovered another little mystery. I like to view all the pictures in super blow up, quadrant by quadrant. Partly that’s because sometimes a piece of a photo will be more interesting than the entire shot; partly because I like to look for anomalies. My favorite shot of the set was a shadow and light picture of a child’s grave. And that was the beginning of the mystery:

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The small mystery…
(more…)