Hot Tombstones in Tucson, Arizona

This was what I imagined I’d find when I planned my visit to a cemetery in Tucson, Arizona.

I didn’t expect the many Asian memorials. Made me wonder about the history of the Asian culture in Tucson. Anybody know?

This section of Evergreen Cemetery brought back memories of my trips to Virgina City,  and Genoa, Nevada.  Picturesquely old west.

What a view! This was the Congregation Ashei Israel section of Evergreen.  Beautiful!

My tombstone tourist tips for Tucson: Slather on the sunscreen and, don’t miss breakfast or brunch at Prep & Pastry. Thier slogan is, “Brunch without booze is just a sad late breakfast.” Sooooo yummy!

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My First Funeral

 I’ve been obsessed with cemeteries since I organized

my first funeral.Pregnant guppy

When I was a kid, one of several fishes my sisters and I kept in a freshwater aquarium died.  Since we didn’t care about him much, he didn’t really even have a name. Until we found him belly-up. Then he had to have a name – for the TOMBSTONE.

Deciding on Flashy, we made a sparkly, little casket out of aluminum foil lined with a folded square of soft, pink toilet paper. With me leading the way, I was the oldest, we carried his body slowly, in procession through the living room, the kitchen, out the back door.

At the graveside, we sang swing low, sweet chaaar-ri-ah-aht!  Words were said – sad, respectful ones about Flashy’s tragically short life.

We discussed the six-feet-under concept, but our mother convinced us — I believe her exact words were, “No, you will NOT dig a six foot hole by the back patio!”  — that six inches would be more than enough for a creature Flashy’s size.

We buried him under the Skunk bush. That was our nickname for a rare and gorgeous species of Azalea that blooms a brilliant orange, but has the unfortunately pungent scent of skunk.English: Azalea 'Hinodegiri' in full flower in...

Flashy wouldn’t mind the smell. We marked his final resting place with a Popsicle-stick-cross beautified with crayon.  There may have been tears, but I don’t think so. The feeling I remember most about the whole affair is glee.

Virginia City, Nevada – A most magical afternoon

This is the wild west, cowboy country.

Several years ago, sheer luck led me to the mountains of Nevada on a gorgeous, clear afternoon. Serendipity and a rental car brought me to Virginia City, its fabulous cowboy cemetery, and the most magical hour I’ve ever spent wandering among tombstones. There was a full solar eclipse.

Solar eclipse projected on tomstone

Have you ever seen a solar eclipse? You can only look at them through special lenses or watch their shadows through a pinhole projector. In the cemetery that day, nature’s pinhole projectors, the leaves on the trees above the graves, cast these eclipse shadows.

Eclipse shadows

Even before I realized that this rare cosmic event was happening, the Virginia City cemetery took my breath away. Spring in the mountains was just so gorgeous!

Flowering bush

Best tombstone tourist experience ever!

Virginia City, Nevada

 

Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN

Dark Angel

Lakewood Cemetery on a cold, windy day, spitting rain. Despite everything, heavenly!

Girl under glass

Have you ever been here? This is one of those cemeteries so packed with beauties that even with a full-color, self-guided tour brochure there’s no way to see everything in one visit.

Madonna and Child

The staff in the reception building (with restrooms!), was incredibly helpful and organized. They printed out section maps so I could find specific grave sites.  Awesome!

Her face

The blustery weather definitely set a melancholy tone for the day, so next time I visit, I’ll make it in the summer and I’ll bring a picnic lunch. Trees and tombstones

Children and Angels in Bellefontaine, Florissant, Missouri

Bellefontaine Cemetery is just north of St. Louis in Florissant. Missouri and totally worth a side trip if you’re headed that way.

Bellfontaine, Florissant, MO (21)

Bellfontaine, Florissant, MO (22)

In a previous post, I focused on statues of women in mourning at Bellefontaine. Just gorgeous.

Bellfontaine, Florissant, MO (24)

Bellfontaine, Florissant, MO (25)

Can you imagine visiting these two memorials when they were new and even more lifelike?  I’ll come back to Bellefontaine. There are some spectacular buildings here too.

Bellfontaine, Florissant, MO (27)