Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Where is this lovely churchyard? All the epitaphs I can make out are in English.

Where is this lovely churchyard? All the epitaphs I can make out are in English. Photo by Blair Apperson.

Twenty years ago this week, my friend Blair got word that the liver surgery he’d undergone wasn’t successful and he had six months to live.  I can remember that, because he and his husband watched the Oscars after they got the news.

Blair went through a potlatch phase, where he gave his things away.  He gave me a box of cemetery photos that he had taken on his travels.  Nothing was labeled.  It felt weird to sit down with him, knowing that he was dying, and ask him to tell me about the graveyards he’d visited.  He told me some good stories, but he couldn’t remember where everything had been taken — and he’d made no notes.

All the same, I used a bunch of his photos in Death’s Garden: Relationships with Cemeteries, the first book I edited all by myself.  Blair didn’t live to see the book finished.  After it was done, after he was gone, I put his photos into sleeves and filed them away in a binder. I couldn’t look at them without thinking of him.

Kids playing football in the graveyard.

Kids playing football in the graveyard. Photo by Blair Apperson.

This month, I wanted to write about Black History for the Cemetery of the Week — and I remembered Blair’s photos.  I pulled them out again, but they remain just as mysterious to me as they did then.

If you can help me identify any of these graveyards, I would sure appreciate it.  I think they were taken in the Bahamas, maybe at Saba, but I don’t really know.  I know it’s a long shot, but I’m really hoping someone will recognize some of these images and be able to identify them for me at last.

Family plot in the backyard.

Family plot in the backyard. Photo by Blair Apperson.

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About Loren Rhoads

I am the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, co-author of the novel As Above, So Below, and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. My science fiction trilogy, The Dangerous Type, will be published by Night Shade in 2015. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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12 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

  1. Jo Bryant says:

    What a sad story. I hope you find out where these places are.

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  2. Holisticrocs says:

    A poignant post for you Loren, thanks for sharing…..

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  3. Jen says:

    I agree – this is a poignant post to read. Sorry I can’t help with any info on these places. But I really like that last one — the idea of this plot right there, where family can be close, is touching.

    Like

  4. coastalcrone says:

    Blair was a courageous person. I am glad you were able to get the items out again as he wanted you to have them and knew you would appreciate them. Good luck on identifying them.

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  5. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    That must have felt really strange; I weep at the drop of a hat and he’d end up needing to console me. What a great friend!

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    • Loren Rhoads says:

      Oh, I left the crying part out. :-) It was really hard to face Blair when he was dying. I was embarrassed that he had to be strong for me, but we were both really young, then. We took turns holding each other up. I’ve never been so close to someone dying before or since. It was an experience that shaped me more than almost anything that else that’s happened in my life.

      I think you and I are a lot alike. I still weep at the drop of a hat.

      Like

  6. Dean E. says:

    Blair took those photos on one of his trips with N. Neal. I wonder if they were taken in Jamaica? Lovely post, thanks for the memories.

    Like

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