I heard some extremely good and some extremely bad news this week.
The good news is........
BILLIONGRAVES IS ON FAMILY SEARCH!!!!
What a great pairing. Now when people go in and look for their ancestors they can also search for photos of the headstones. This month Billion Graves had a goal for 1 million new records for the month of May. We have all been encouraged and bribed (smile) to get out there and photograph, photograph, photograph. The top 30 people who do photos or transcriptions will win fabulous prizes. I think currently I am sitting at about number 15 with over 5000 uploads for May. Not too shabby when you consider I took a trip to New Mexico in there. If I can stay between number 11 and 20 I will win a Billion Graves plus account for a year and a t-shirt! I would really like the plus account. It will allow me to submit many of our family surnames and whenever anyone in the world takes a photo of the headstone and submit it, I would get a notification. That would be sweet. I already have a t-shirt from them that I don't wear. I'm just not a t-shirt kind of gal, I guess.
Now for the very bad news.
A very good friend of ours who has been battling cancer has been sent home from the hospital to hospice care. He probably has a couple of weeks left. He teaches with Mike and he and his wife have been friends of ours for many many years. What a talented man. He is funny, a magician, and artist, and has a fantastic singing voice. I heard him sing "Oh My Father" at a funeral once and told him I wanted him to sing it at mine. I guess that won't be happening. I pray for his peaceful passing and for comfort and peace to his family. Love you, Kyle and Julie.
Cemetery Tales - Joy and SorrowI have been trying to finish up photographing a cemetery that I started in March. This place has a personality all it's own.
Most cemeteries I do draw the curious. Invariably I will have someone come up and talk to me about what I'm doing. It's a rare cemetery that I photo that this doesn't happen. The one I'm trying to complete is just such a place. I've spent a few hours there over the last week, during the height of the Memorial Day grave-decorating ritual, and have seen hundreds of people dutifully cleaning off headstones, arranging flowers, and standing around with heads bowed silently contemplating. And not one of these people has come up to me to ask what I'm doing. Not even when I walk right past them or around them. Sure I can see them looking at me with curiosity, but they must have a strict code of privacy and respect everyone's right to do their own thing. That's one issue with this place that has been a bit different.
Today I took a couple of photos that almost made me cry. There were pictures on 2 headstones, a young couple and their 1 and 3 year old daughters. The dates told a story. All three females died on the same day in January. Probably a car accident due to slick roads. On the back of the headstones was a letter written from the lone family survivor, the husband and father. It was very touching and made me choke up. I hope he did okay in the 12 years since that happened.
The other thing I noticed was the abundance of VERY COOL NAMES!!!! I kind of collect these cool names in case I ever want to write a book. These would make very cool characters.
- Mahonri Moriancumr Jones
- Curney Carlson
- Trilba Lowder
- Electa Oram
- Claxton Foster
- Darsel Morgan
- Della Ouldhouse
- Nephi Dansie
- Emery Hubbard
- Stillman Campbell
- Parley Tall
Yes, his name was Part. And his last name was "Ball". That's right. His name was Part Ball. and the best part was his wife. She went by the moniker "Chestie". I really think I want to meet these people after I pass over.
I'll bet they're awesome. You'd have to be to pull off the names Chestie and Part Ball.