Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated with graveyards and cemeteries. (Do you know the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery? A graveyard is on consecrated ground and a cemetery is not.) It kind of began when my grandmother would take me on a “tour” of the Jewish cemetery where all our relatives are buried. When I was a little kid, all these older relatives died around the same time — my grandpa’s sister and brother; my great grandparents. My brother and I were too little to be left alone so we went to the funerals and my grandmother would feed me sponge cake and show me the family plots. She’d place a stone on top of the headstones of our relatives and tell me about them. Then we’d walk around and explore. The one tidbit I remember the most was when she showed me a headstone in the shape of a tree trunk. “It’s for a young person who was cut down in the prime of their life,” she had said. Anyway, I’ve never associated cemeteries with anything morbid or macabre. For me, they’re like taking a tour of history.
[I’ve meandered through cemeteries in Boston and Key West (Key West City Cemetery being my favorite). To check out some of my cemetery pics, go to my Pinterest page here.]
When I was a sophomore in high school, my neighbor and I walked from our high school to the Old Tennent Cemetery. It was a quick walk down Church Lane meant to kill some time and satiate some curiosity. There were rumors that the pews inside the church still had blood stains from Revolutionary War soldiers (P.S. I used this tidbit in my book). We never went inside the church but we did find some interesting tombstones. If I recall, a relative of Cotton Mather is buried in the cemetery (we were reading The Crucible that year).
I recently returned to the cemetery this April when I made the two-hour pilgrimage home to Manalapan and my dad and I stopped in to take some photos. Well, I jumped out of the car and my dad stayed with my boys in the minivan. I wish I could’ve spent more time there, but I did come away with some cool photos.