Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lie In Our Graves

Long time readers know that from time to time, I do some restoration work around the state. Today I finally had the time, and good weather, to do a job that I bid on some time back and was able to finish in one day, so it was extra good. I have actually done work in several historic cemeteries and working in such places always causes me to reflect on so many things. This is a very old cemetery of much historical significance, very near the downtown Birmingham area. Everyone here from princes to paupers. Several Alabama governors, mayors and one very well-known madam from the early 1900's.
The fence here is what I repaired. Sorry no pics of finished work. A friend of mine who is a stone mason did the stone repair. He is actually the one who introduced me to cemetery work. This mess is the result of a car wreck; someone going too fast around the sharp curve that runs by here. Probably being chased by police. Unfortunately, these grounds are located in a very unstable part of town so you have to be aware of the situation and on the lookout for suspicious/ dangerous behavior.
We also repaired one other spot in the fence that was the result of frozen turkeys being hurled through the air at a high rate of speed. 18 lb. frozen missiles that wrecked havoc amongst the tombstones and fence area. Seems a fellow stole a transfer truck full of turkeys right before Thanksgiving in a nearby area, the police gave chase but he could not quite make the same sharp turn. The truck flipped and spewed the turkeys all over the streets and cemetery. The overseer here said he kept finding turkeys strewn about for days afterward.
The grounds are filled with beautiful, old monuments of all kinds. Saddest I guess, are the varieties of lambs that usually mark the graves of children. It is such a pretty place that often times people come just to walk or sit and relax under the enormous magnolia and oak trees that cover the grounds.
Many of the markers and mausoleums are in dire need of repair but grant money or donations by patrons are hard to come by. Many of the graves are so old, that the families have long since passed away or moved from the area, these distant relatives forgotten.
But many are in fine shape and the architecture of the structures are a fascination in that you will rarely see such craftsmanship in modern times.
I can't help but to wonder about the people, that I know I am stepping over, as I go about my work. Did they live a happy life? Did it end tragically? How will I feel about my own life when I know my time to lie here is drawing close? If, I even live long enough to think my time might be near.

I can't believe we would

Lie in our graves

Wondering if we had

Spent our living days well.

So, consider this a reminder; spend your living days well, the best you can. Hug and kiss the one next to you. Laugh at stupid things. Be silly sometimes. Forgive everyone and pray that they will forgive you. Life sucks sometimes for everyone. I learned that lesson many years ago but when it's over, and it always passes too quickly it seems, there ain't no gettin' it back.

*Dave Mathews Band


Anonymous said...

Coouldn't agree more, live the life you want!

Woody said...

Sucking air and on the green side of the grass...it's all good.

Pablo said...

It's nice to be able to do work like that for the community (though careful -- someone will call you a socialist).

I'm sending hugs you way.

Anonymous said...

Well, I wouldn't call you a "socialist". You're doing something that would make anyone proud. Keep up the good work. Nice house BTW, coming along nicely.

Island Rider said...

Great post! Next time you are at a cemetery, write down some of the names and dates and using Ancestry.com I can help you learn a little more about the people buried there.

edifice rex said...

Hey Molly! that's right!

Hey Woody! yep!

Hey Pablo! I enjoy the work really; and it pays good so that helps! (insurance claims)
Oh, i been called worse! haha! thanks for hugs!!

Hey Furt! oh, Pablo is just messing with me!! thanks though for all kind words!

edifice rex said...

Hey IR! thanks! hey, that's a great idea; hadn't thought of that.
the overseer at this cemetery is very nice and interesting guy. Can tell you many compelling stories too.

Sissy said...

Some very good pictures, Annie. Wish I could say this about my blog. Someday maybe.

edifice rex said...

Hey Sissy! thanks! yea, wish you could get your camera working too!

HermitJim said...

I think what you are doing is way too cool! You are just a very interesting person, indeed!

edifice rex said...

hey Jim! well, thanks! i appreciate that.

Floridacracker said...

I bet that was a neat job.
Those turkeys made me think of a WKRP In Cinncinnati episode where Les Nesman threw live turkeys out of a helicopter as a Thanksgiving stunt ... free food for the masses.

He didn't know domestic turkeys don't fly.

countrypeapie said...

I love that cemetery! Went for a run downtown with someone who knew a lot about the different famous locals who are buried there. Really fascinating. What a cool place to do some work.

edifice rex said...

Hey FC! oh, I remember that one too!!lol! the look on Les' face when he realizes they can't fly is priceless! splat!! lol! lord, we are telling our age!

Hey Pea! yeah, what a great place it is! And Stuart (the overseer) can tell you some fascinating stories that are written in the old books by the first overseer. He made notes on a lot of the people buried there. Very interesting.

Beau said...

That was really nice. I appreciate your thoughts and reflections- so often I wonder the same things... thanks.