March 24, 2009

Springtime at the Cemetery


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Ah 'tis spring at the most elegant of garden cemeteries, Mt. Auburn. Soon the warblers will be thick in the trees and the attendant warbler watchers underfoot, but for now we were just hoping for a glimpse of snowdrop.

There was nary a shoot to shoot. Instead we hit the metamorphophoto jackpot. Atop James W. and Ruth K. Stanley's queen-sized tombstone was a bizarre offering. Unusual, in that the keepers of Mt. Auburn are very strict about approving only organic oblations. You will see fresh bouquets, potted lilies and daffodils, even a few pumpkins in season, but NEVER a plastic flower or an American flag. No, no, no this is the home of the classy corpse.

Thus to find a rhinestone cupid , hand glazed, if not crafted at the local pottery place atop the granite marker was a bit of a surprise, since all other cupids in the vicinity are carved in stone. Most of the objet d' morte were hand wrought - the bejeweled insect the cross and stone encrusted with gems, but not the Chucky Cheese Lunchbox. One knew the collection was a recent deposit, because the the package of peeps at the foot, screamed Easter. Chances are also that the groundskeepers would not have appreciated the garish cuteness of this gesture, and would have whisked it away lickety split had they come upon it.

So what is this impromptu shrine anyway? Mr. and Mrs. Stanley died in 1972 and 1975 respectively. Whoever left the objets couldn't have been old enough to know the Stanley's personally, though all of the adults here at Dakota are rather fond of peeps. It seems a ghoulish ritual to bring one's children to the cemetery to leave stuff on their unknown grandparents grave, but then again we aren't that sentimental. Maybe it was a creative project from a progressive multicultural nursery school and the Stanleys just got lucky.

Photo note: A metamorphophoto -- the transformation of a plain gray gravestone into , well, something else. We'll leave the specifics up to you

Posted by Dakota at March 24, 2009 07:00 AM | TrackBack