Sunday, October 28, 2007

stories in stone

fly away home

Wandered around the local cemetery this afternoon reading stories in stone in the brilliant autumn light.

The wives of John Rodgers: Ruth and Maria. What we're missing are -- is? -- the wedding date.

Loved Elizabeth's lines.

I was struck by how often the stones read "Died". Of course they did, and of course that's important information -- but isn't it fairly straightforward to extrapolate that fact from the context in which they're found?

Caroline, the wife of M.R. Webster. Maybe she was Aged 42 when she died; maybe she was only 12. The stone is soft and hard to hear.

Ebenezer had an interesting, albeit heartbreaking story. The bottom of his tombstone read in a beautiful old script: “He sleeps beneath the lone blue Sea. He died on his passage from California on board the Palmetto, and his remains are in the Pacific Ocean.”

It doesn't say where he was headed from California, and I wonder if he was a 49er, given the date. But what the heck was he doing getting on a boat, then?

Nearby stood a stone with the name of his wife Mary, who died 7 years after he was lost at sea, and their six children: Three of whom died in their first few years of life, long before Ebenezer ever left for California.

Sweet dreams, li'l Nell.

sleep in the dust.


anniemcq said...

Oh, you had the afternoon of my dreams! Next time you come, we'll wander down the street to the old pioneer cemetery, and take pictures and ponder the tales.

So glad we're friends.

suttonhoo said...

it's a date! :)

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