Monday, November 2, 2009

Roadside Memorial, M-38, Upper Michigan

Roadside memorials have intrigued me for years with their odd mix of paganism and Christianity.  With the exception of the descanos erected in regions with sizable Hispanic populations, like New Mexico, the typical roadside memorial tended to be both spontaneous and ephemeral: a flimsy cross that quickly breaks down, a few flowers, occasionally some empty beer cans or a piece of the car the person died in.  That's been changing, as this memorial to Edward Disney evidences. 

Mr. Disney died in a traffic accident in 2002, 7 years before I took these photos.  The memorial remains well-maintained, with a large area along the right-of-way kept mowed so the cross continues to be highly visible.  One thing that surprises me, though, given the amount of time and effort that went into creating the memorial and its maintenance, is that the lettering has been allowed to fade.  It's no longer legible from more than a foot or two away. 

The memorial is located on the northside right-of-way for M-38 in Baraga County, Michigan, east of Alston, west of Baraga, and close to the Pine Creek Road.