Happy Saturday everyone. I’m thrilled to share my first guest interview today! Courtney and I met in my home state of Indiana. She was one of my favorite patron’s when I worked at Allen County Public Library in early to mid 2000s. Besides her genuineness and great taste in library material I always knew there was a reason I immediately liked her! Here is Courtney’s story about why cemeteries have been an important place since her teen years:
I’m drawn to the stories of cemeteries. In the small town where I grew up there was a large historic cemetery where my friends and I liked to go. We rambled around picking out our favorite stones and tried to imagine the deceaseds’ lives based on dates, family plots, and the monuments themselves. My favorite was a tall white obelisk that had a man’s name on the front. The right face read, “His Wife” with dates. Not uncommon for a woman’s life to be entirely whittled down to that. More memorable was the left side which read, “His Other Wife.” She was dead and yet only rated trusty #2 in memorium. It says so much about that time and family. The inscription has remained with me.
I also had a picnic in that same cemetery with the first boy I really loved. It was for prom. It was a small group. We were 17. It is one of the most precious memories I have from high school. We were weirdos and happy to have a place to go that captured the melancholy of that time. We used to say that witches were burned at the stake in that spot because it seemed fittingly spooky. We didn’t really believe it though. (Photo courtesy, Courtney K.)
If I could be buried anywhere I would want to be there in Batavia Cemetery…but I know it’s full. I also get the practicality of cremation or the allure of being buried in a tree-growing pod. In my wildest dreams I want people to wonder who the hell I am. Buried under a block of granite with some weird quote and my name, maybe there will even be a picture and the lyrics to my favorite song.
My favorite novel, Wuthering Heights centers around graves, death, and ghosts. I am also a HUGE Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. At least 25% of that show takes place in cemeteries. Buffy refers to herself as “She Who Hangs Out In Cemeteries a Lot.” I have definitely ran around the cemetery pretending to be Buffy. I don’t think our culture focuses enough on death and dying. It’s shocking when death is the most normal thing there is next to birth and more certain.(Credit)
Thank you so much for sharing your charming story, Courtney! You definitely win my vote for best prom!
If you have a story that you’d like to tell please leave a comment below and I’ll send you contact info. Or see this post. I’d love to interview you or share your cemetery story here!