Split/Screen

Small scenes from St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery in New Orleans. I like how the plant appears to grab at death, as if to shoo it away behind the tombs. Or courageously claw at it–protecting us.

But this is an illusion. We are trapped in this maze.The maze is suffocating. Yet, we are are still here walking the same paths over and over bumping into the same obstacles.

I suppose it is better than not existing and not walking the same paths. Then again, I don’t really know that.

All I know is that there is no escape from this path.

That and chickens are delicious dinosaur descendants. Specifically, some kind of T Rex. No really. Chickens are closer to dinosaurs than any other bird.

What will rule humans like we rule chickens? Giant bacteria monsters like  The Blob?  Or giant algae sucking up our oxygen. There was a bacteria which caused a giant oxygenating event  2.3 billion years ago which led to life today. What if algae took over and ate all our oxygen in a “giant de-oxygenating event”?

DOOMSDAY ALGAE.  NO OXYGEN. Do I worry about stupid stuff? Yes! Yes, I do. OR DO I?

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With pink flowers
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Blocked in
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With red flowers

Abstraction and Shapes: St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

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Geometric Abstraction

Used to be, I could spend hours shooting different angles and vistas in the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans. Now you have to be a part of an official tour group. Why? Rampant vandalism.

Thanks, assholes! Brilliant damn idea to vandalize a cemetery.

how faux-emo of you; gosh, you just rage against the machine; much point made painting a famous tomb a hideous bright pink. MUCH.POINT.MADE.; no narcissists here; fake anarchists

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Angles Blocking and Hidden Horizon

The light side:

At first, the Catholic Church refused visitors other than family members of the deceased. I completely understand. It took thousands of dollars to clean up the stupid mess. I’m not religious, but I do respect history and the emotional connection people have to geographical locations and certain architectural structures. (No, really. I am attached to a couple of tangible items and would be sad if they were damaged by some dumbass.)

The church then decided that visitors would be allowed as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult AKA a tour guide. Considering what (fake anarchist) people were doing, this is a fair outcome.

Also, I learned a great deal about body decomposition in New Orleans. If I had just been focusing on taking pictures, I would not have learned what I did from my tour guide. The pressure of having two kids with me along with the time limitations also led me to make abstractions and focus on angles instead of documenting the place. I hadn’t done that in the past.

Tour: French Quarter Phantoms  I took two tours from them with Sam, who has a passion for the history of New Orleans. I love historians! Knowledge is power. It’s the one thing no one can take from you.

Galveston Cemetery: Inside the Vault

A nice gentleman in jeans approached me when I was taking pictures in the cemetery. He was standing near a small, Spanish tile roofed building.

“Do you wanna see something cool?” he asks while beckoning me to follow him behind the small building.

Not being suspicious of strangers, I gleefully squealed, “Yes!” and followed him without a single question. Now, I sort of got concerned when he started unlocking a padlocked set of wooden doors. Because, I mean, isn’t that how a good horror story starts?

He pushed the eastern facing doors open. A set of silver cabinets shone against the morning sun. I was blinded for a second. The gentleman then opened one of the doors to reveal a temporary tomb.DSCN6381

Huh. Empty. I admit that it was a slight disappointment. But then he opened up one with an old temporary casket.
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The gentleman told me that he likes to ask elementary school children if they’d like to lie in the casket. Purportedly, each child agrees….

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He opened another door to show a different type of casket: square. Also, one side of the original sliders (2x4s) were still in place.

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The place had an odd aroma. A dusty, sweet–yet unidentifiable–aroma. *Fascinating*

All in all, my advice is that when you follow strange men into padlocked old buildings, good things are bound to happen.

Galveston Cemetery: Tombs

Since I was a child, I have wanted to stop at this lovely cemetery. I’d beg my parents to stop there every time we made the trek down from Humble to the seawall. Well, the universe finally decided to stop denying me the very reasonable request to investigate this place!

I like how the palm trees are swaying in the breeze!
I like how the palm trees are swaying in the breeze!

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The cemetery is right off Broadway smack in the middle of a neighborhood.
The cemetery is right off Broadway smack in the middle of a neighborhood.

 

Driftwood Cemetery: South of South Austin

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Driftwood is a city slightly southwest of Austin. There are a few good wineries out that way, which was the true focus of my visit. But, then I saw the Driftwood Cemetery and had to stop to take a look. It wasn’t as illuminating a visit as I had hoped. I didn’t recognize most of the names except for the Puryear family, and I only recognize that name because it’s a central Texas judge’s name.

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South Austin History: Maria de la Luz Cemetery

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About a block down the road from the Masonic cemetery in south Austin, you’ll find the Mexican cemetery. The growth of Austin has the place surrounded. I’m not sure if there are many spaces left for burial. It seems fairly full upon close examination. There are “empty” areas, but the ground rolls from the compression of soil upon the caskets.

I find both cemeteries aesthetically pleasing but for different reasons. The Masonic cemetery is your traditional, slightly intimidating, sedate resting place. The Mexican cemetery, on the other hand, applies color and individuality in a manner which would be unexpected in the traditional Western burial ground.

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The four nerve daisies were all in bloom today.

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South Austin history…in Cemetery form (Part II)

I visited Live Oak Cemetery on Sunday along with the Masonic Cemetery, also known as Boggy Creek Cemetery, this past Sunday. My next goal is to visit (well, re-visit) the south Austin Mexican cemetery soon for some pictures. I’ll wait for a sunny day for that excursion.

There are a couple of cemeteries in central Texas by the name Live Oak. This one is in far south Travis County. I live near FM 1626, which runs right into IH 35. Live Oak is down Old San Antonio Road, which is between South 1st and IH 35. When you head down Old San Antonio Road, take a right where you see the wood sign for the cemetery.

The entrance is not remarkable, but you won’t miss the place.

The only local name I recognized was Baurle. There’s a subdivision to the west called Bauerle Ranch, so I imagine the land it sits on was once the ranch owned by that family.

I was unable to get a picture because I was spooked out while in the graveyard. No, it wasn’t the dead people. It was:

(1) Nothing like having a car tail you into a graveyard. I wouldn’t have been spooked, but the car would NOT PARK. Kept driving around all stupid-like. Finally it parked, so I felt relatively comfortable getting out. There’s no one to hear you scream in a graveyard….

(2) Even better when the cops show up! A sheriff saw me near the graves up at the front of the cemetery and zoomed into the place. Stopped by my car, ran my plates. Then made his slow “cop stare” way out. Great. I know it’s private property. But I’m trying to document local history and sites. That’s not illegal.

Anyhow, by then I was running out of light to get decent pictures. Here are the graves that stood out to me. There was another, but the individual was recently deceased and a minor. His grave was excellent and told me his life story in pictures. But I just don’t feel right posting it since I don’t know his family. He looked like a cool dang kid, though.

Woodmen of the World family plot. These were a benefit of belonging to the organization, but it became too costly to continue the gravestone program.
Woodmen of the World family plot. These were a benefit of belonging to the organization, but it became too costly to continue the gravestone program.
Alfred Earl Jones died in WWI. There was another child simply called "Baby" in the family plot.
In the Woodmen plot. Alfred Earl Jones died in WWI. There was another child simply called “Baby” in the family plot.
Fannie Lula Stevens
Fannie Lula Stevens. They do not make cool names like that any more. 
Flowers and a tree have absorbed part of Fannie Lula Stevens
Flowers and a tree have absorbed part of Fannie Stevens

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I promise it's more scary in real life. You walk along and BAM! What the....What?!
I promise it’s more scary in real life. You walk along and BAM! What the….What?!

South Austin history…in cemetery form.

This cemetery is a favorite of mine. Usually, cemeteries from the late 1800s are full of sunken graves and broken markers (where I live at least). This one is nicely kept and has its history intact.

Slaughter Lane, Brodie Lane, and Dittmar Road: These names did not come from the ether!

The Slaughters had a ranch (which I likely live on part of) in south Austin. Mary Searight Moore Park contains the foundation of the house that the Slaughters lived in. It’s very close to my house as the crow flies.

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It’s never a happy task to walk through a cemetery, even if you enjoy the beauty of the location. The place is wrought with sadness. The last picture is that of an infant who died on the day after her birth. The marker is cracked and stacked against another, so it’s not certain where her body lies.

Socorro Cemetery: Sculpture

Oh, just give me credit if you re-post. I don’t do photography for profit but for statement and art. Just give me the credit or re-blog me if your retouch and take out the chain link fence. I’m not trying to be famous, but I want the families to know who to come back to to complain or praise. Digital code is like forever. I’m the one to blame for stopping and contemplating the beauty of the rememberance.

Other graves at Socorro Cemetery

This is why the graves need maintenance. Whose child lies here?
So many infants in the graveyard. Infant mortality rates in this country have always been bad. We are anti-abortion, but don't give a shit once the baby is born.And we treat women who suffer miscarriage as thought it's no big deal. Instead of giving your money to anti-abortion causes, consider the March of Dimes. The fact that someone decorated the girl's grave so many years later should tell us to save as many babies as we can. And the ones we can save are the wanted. Most are!
I wish I knew this guy. His epitaph sounds like he was one cool dude.