"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Prowling rural cemeteries

Prowling cemeteries on the backroads, I find all kinds of stories that should have been told. 
You can tell the years when a flu or other epidemic hit by the common death dates. You can find how hard life was for early settlers by the large number of infant graves. You can discover segregated graveyards, across the road from each other, and determine races by the poverty or richness of the gravestones. You can find the immigrants graves by their ethnic names. 
On my drives through the country, away from suburban traffic and noise, I've found five rural graveyards within less than 30 minutes of Edmond. I'm sure there are more.
I always stop and walk through them, drawn to the veterans' graves, impressed that after many years, even in neglect, some relatives still decorate them. On this Memorial Day weekend, they bear silent witness to service, and love.



1 comment:

  1. I love cemeteries as well and checking out the tombstones and trying to figure out what's what. My favorite was a grave near where my Dad lives in Idaho. It was a Mormon Confederate war veteran who later pushed a cart west to Utah. I bet that guy could tell a lot of stories.

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