Veteran’s Day. Over the summer, the office I work in has young people come and intern — kind of a try-it-and-see-if-you-like-it thing. The tallish, blondeish, thinning-hair fella down the hall from me was a veteran. He introduced himself to me with a quiet smile and firm handshake. He got married at the end of the summer. He seemed too young to be a veteran. And yet…I imagine many of the folks he served with were younger. I wish I had thought to use the photo of Ms. Gibson (below) for this day — her son is in Afghanistan — but, perhaps the above shot is good as well. He was only 22 when Robert Gilbert Campbell gave his life for our country. His memorial is at Whitefield Baptist Church.
Continuing with our memorial theme :), Whitefield Baptist Church, found off Hwy 29 near the Jockey Lot, was first organized in 1840. So it’s not surprizing (that I found) a handful of confederate veterans buried there. Based on Mr. Landress’s date of death shown in the picture, I wonder if he attended the dedication of the CSA statue described below.
While the Old Stone Church is not in the city of Anderson, or even in Anderson County (!), it is just a tiny jump away from us up Hwy 76 into Pickens County and the city of Clemson. (The Old Stone Church is on the National Register of Historic Places, and a tour of its surrounding cemetery lours one into the 1700s.) I was interested to note the above found on top of the iron gate to the cemetery. (The iron fence appears old and is detailed in its design.) I haven’t found such a company through Google, though there appears to be a company called Foundry & Steel, Inc., in Anderson.
My camera came back! Yipee! I am guarding it with the ferocity of a wounded mama tiger whose newborn cub is squealing, jumping, and yanking on her right paw, “Can I have just ONE more chocolate bunny? PULEEZ?”
John Edward Peoples. His statue stands in the 1st Baptist Church Cemetery, downtown. He is among an amazing small group of graves, very old. The detail in the statue is still evident: the edges of his coat and vest, his mustache, the medallion at his neck, the ivy and hosta (?) growing around the tree trunk his hand and cane rest against. And of course, I love his top hat. He died in 1890 at 37, my age. The plinth contains a verse that’s difficult to read. It concludes with the phrase “a wife’s loving remembrance.”
A friend asked once after reading this blog, “You like cemeteries, don’t you?” Her tone relayed that she thinks I’m weird. I am proudly weird. And I DO love cemeteries, especially in the winter with a wind blowing that drowns out sound, allowing me to imagine I’m walking back in time. (As long as I have a snug jacket!)
Silverbrook Cemetery is tremendous in size (in my limited experience anyway). This grave, similar to many surrounding it, caught my eye. Mr. McKinney must have worn that hat everyday. In my mind’s eye I see a dignified gentleman, nicely dressed with leather shoes and hat.
From my desk at work, I overhead an older man on the phone explaining to his wife that the function they would attend that night was casual dress.
“You know, casual no longer includes a jacket,” he said with a note of instruction and incredulity. “I asked what dressy casual was, and they told me it means the women dress up more and the men wear the same thing as casual.” His laugh was a bit mocking, a bit good humored.
Fashion changes. Perhaps my little nephew’s grandchildren will instruct him one day — to his surprise — to wear a jacket and hat to a barbeque. 🙂 Can’t fathom it.
Far in a corner of Silver Brook Cemetery is a section more or less from around the 1950s. I stopped and stared, incredulous. Row after row of infants. Unrelated, but side by side. The commonality: the size of grave. A section of heartache still remembered with tokens of affection, as pictured above.
Victor St. Clair Minor. Killed in action near St. Quentin, France, October 17, 1918. Silver Brook Cemetery.
Here are additional military markers from Silver Brook. The cemetery is immense.
I love the color and perspective of this picture, taken in a downtown cemetery. The photographer is Rudy Bortolini, an ex-pat from Italy who is working in Anderson. He says he was touched by this tombstone of a baby who was born and died on the same day.
My car was stopped by pedistrians one Sunday afternoon not long ago. They poured out of the Baptist church sanctuary into the parking lot, across the road in front of me, and up onto the slight hill where Sullivan and King Mortuary had prepared a grave side funeral setting. The waning light hit the faces of tombstones and lit up the family names of the deceased. The image seemed to spring from my memory, having attended countless funerals over the years. Though a sad occasion, the number of people — pouring from the church to the grave — gave me pause. Who had died? Someone obviously beloved.
On Saturday, I found myself at the intersection above, beside the McDougal Funeral Home. The man in the umbrella stopped traffic so a procession, led by a police car, could turn onto N. Main. I wondered what cemetery they were headed to. The rain seemed appropriate.