Back in high school or shortly after I read a book called A Fine and Private Place written by Peter Beagle, an author best known for another work of fantasy, The Last Unicorn. If you've never read the book but appreciate good fantasy, seek it out. It's set in a cemetery. Whether or not the book alone is responsible for my interest in gravestones, memorials, and rituals surrounding death and dying is unlikely, but it no doubt contributed to it. I plan to use this blog as a space for random thoughts related to funerary art, roadside memorials, grave goods, and whatever else catches my attention that's connected in some way to the ways Americans deal with death.
I plan to set up an occasional slide show from favorite cemeteries, speculate on the increasing paganism I see evidenced in the proliferation of roadside memorials and the truly bizarre (and almost always sad) offerings of grave goods, and to highlight interesting historical and curiousities. I have a strong interest in vernacular grave markers -- concrete, fieldstone, wood, and found materials -- so will probably do a lot of thinking out loud about them, too.