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©John R. Turner

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Out and About with Word and Image of Vermont

The Bowling Green Cemetery
The Bowling Green cemetery, though doleful as other burial grounds, is also colorful and a bit zany. I've walked through it often, mainly to visit the graves of people I know. Yet, every time I go, I find a new feature which attracts my attention. On the afternoon of October 22, 2004, the mid-afternoon sun was pulsingly bright and the thermometer was inching toward ninety, when I noticed a cheery slice of watermelon gleaming from one of the headstones. I have no idea if Lowell Edward Driskell raised watermelons or merely liked them. But, clearly, watermelons meant enough to him to earn a prominent place on his marker.
Lately, quite a few Mexican families have moved into central Florida. The displays they provide for departed loved ones tend to be brighter than was common in the past and are festooned with items not popular among the Protestant-Anglo populace, like pinwheels and balloons.
Older sectors of the population are still represented, though, as can be seen at the grave of Andy Johnson, a boy who met death at seventeen and who seemed to have viewed himself as a Southern patriot. Death is a condition that confounds us all, no matter our social or political station. Despite certain claims, nobody actually knows what to make of it. So it's no wonder that grave decorations reach out towards anything that can remind us of the reality that has, so mysteriously, been snatched away.

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©John R. Turner

All images and text on this page are the property of Word and Image of Vermont