collecting cemeteries

labrador pond

Outside

We do love these beauty old places. Here’s one discovered while out biking above hidden Labrador Pond. You can see, outside the wall, some are also buried–perhaps according to an old custom of sorting sinners from the saved? Or perhaps it was just that the family cemetery had no room for others?

 

We had a friend who got around town more than anybody I know. Sometimes he hung out at the cemetery, waiting for a moose to clump on by. A bog, with hidden river winding, was just below down the road so the cemetery provided good vantage. We tend to collect cemeteries the way we collect neighborhoods, not for any macabre reason but because of a certain green quality found especially in small New England graveyards. But it’s not hard to imagine a clichéd spookiness at a certain time of day-or-night with kinds of weather possessed of moody or dreary qualities. Our friend didn’t seem interested in that, however. He would sit there with that piercing watchful quality in his intent gaze.

I saw him more than R. did because his labor granted me freedom to be out walking, or riding the bike, while he was working in the mill. When I say our younger friend got around town, I’m talking rural roads and highways. Hills and curves and mountainous sheerness down into ponds. But he was young, the type to seek adventure too. I might be walking along the narrow road and shoulder, strewn with pearly everlasting or poison ivy or whatnot, looking down in careful avoidance. When I’d hear this whirring sound, and look up. There he’d be in his wheelchair with joystick, approaching. He told me one time about falling down off a steep but familiar embankment into the woods, then calling for help with his fortunate two-way-radio. Had a tremendous interest in muscles and how they worked. A snappy conversationalist, he once had to interrupt simply to crane his neck over, grab up his thumb in his teeth, set it back clawed round the joystick. Creeping muscular dystrophy. He wanted to take part in investigative therapies and other experiments, but they said he was too old.

We are still walking and biking the back roads. And I still miss seeing him there. Scott Blanchard.

labrodor pond cemetery

Bisbee Cemetery above Labrador Pond

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