For the past couple weeks since the Equinox to Equinox Rally started I’ve been peppering my regular rides with picking up points. As I mentioned in the post Photo Rally Bonus Hunting – Links, Books, Google Maps, I’ve got maps full of places and points of interest to ride to.
But sometimes… sometimes you just don’t feel like “working.” So, I’ve been taking it easy and making an effort to stop and see some of the places I’ve been visiting and not just doing drive-by point collecting.
Lately the thing that has been capturing my attention is – old cemeteries.
I don’t know what it is about about certain places or things that makes you have an affinity for them. Is it the place itself? Is it what is represents? Is it strictly the visual experience? Maybe it is all of those things?
The information carved on old grave stones can be surprisingly deep – the cause of death, age in years months and sometimes days. I read one stone that said the young boy buried was killed by a wagon wheel. Way to embarrass the kid for eternity.
This stone from Piscatawaytown Burial Ground in NJ was pretty descriptive – mushrooms!
Spataters under neath this tomb lies 2 boyes that lay in one womb the eldest was full 13 year old yongest was V twice told by eating mushroms for food rare in a day(s) time they poyseond were Richard Hoop(ar) and Charles Hoopar desesed august anno dom 1693
Apparently the type of stone, the decorative imagery and lettering itself give clues to who the local carver was. I’ve just put my toe
in the next to water researching information about stones on Long Island. It’s fascinating.
So what is it that makes me keep looking at these old burial grounds? I wish I knew. I don’t find them morbid or anything. On the contrary the spaces are often peaceful and a place of quiet reflection. These people were here. They walked the Earth, they mattered to someone.
During the week I rode to a burial ground in the town of Coram. It was a little less cared for than I would have hoped. Many broken stones, some trash, lots of leaves and bits of tree branches laying throughout it. The sign at the entry way is hanging on by a thread and a prayer.
I parked and walked up the small hill in to the grounds and wound up meeting a gentleman who was also there looking through the stones. We struck up a nice conversation and talked about other old burial grounds on Long Island. He was a very nice fellow.
So, my single friends – if you don’t know where to go to meet a nice man or woman? Cemetery.