Tag Archives: Death

Running Away Part 2 : Memorial Park Cemetery Crystal Grotto

grotto4bwwebMany might choose Paris or Istanbul as a runaway destination. Having only a few hours on a Sunday afternoon and an expired passport eliminated those possibilities. Instead, Memorials Park Cemetery was my destination, a road trip of about eight miles.The cemetery is home to the Crystal Grotto and its fantasy shaped structures.I chose my infrared camera because it would accentuate the otherworldly feel . I viewed  the cave and tree as imaginary housing, fit for visiting sprites or hobbits.

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grotto1origblur-web The faux bois structures suit the park well and it’s hard to believe they are cement.A folk artist from Mexico, Dionicio Rodriguez created the vision from his imagination. Hired by the cemetery’s founder, Clovis Hinds, Rodriguez earned $75.00 per week over a ten year period during the Depression. His creations are dream – like and religiously significant.

grotto5bw-web Working in steel and copper to form supports, the structures were formed in cement over wire. Using his hands, twigs and dinner utensils for tools, he simulated wood structures that suggest fairies and woodland creatures.Calling his work, “el trabajo rustic”, Rodriguez built Abraham’s Oak that towers 15 feet tall and 9 feet in diameter.

grottotreebw-web There is the Cave of Machpelah which is named for a burial cave from the Holy Land. The reflecting pool is the Pool of Hebron, and the Grotto appears as a mountain shaped form which houses the crystal cave. All are entirely hand-built. Walking into the cave you are stunned to find formations of limestone, rock quartz crystal and cement forming backgrounds for murals of scenes of the life of Jesus.

grottoint1-blur-web The artwork  and grotto are on the National Register of Historic Places.

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muralgrottowebMentally moving into the imaginative structures provided a needed break. I returned home energized  and without expense or jet lag.

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Magnolia Cemetery or I Am Not a Ghoul

 

cemeterypyramidir-webI’m really not a ghoul, but I do have a strong fascination for old cemeteries. Whenever we travel, I’m on the lookout for old burial grounds. I can’t resist the stories and always find unusual carvings or monuments. Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina is an especially interesting one. The setting features a lake, huge  trees laced in Spanish moss, and abundant wildlife. Birds and small animals wander freely. Many Civil War soldiers, as well as the crew of the Hunley submarine, keep company with the city’s founding families . The delicate ironwork fences and ornate gates made me think about using their designs in a quilt. (But that’s another post.) The pyramid captured my imagination and with the shadowing palm trees, I could almost believe I’d been transported to Egypt.

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