Tag Archives: Chris LaMay-West

Cemetery Happy Hour!

What is a Cemetery Happy Hour? Last summer when I attended the Association for Gravestone Studies conference online, Dr. Sharon Pajka hosted a virtual happy hour for attendees. She’d even created a PDF recipe book filled with tasty drinks like Preservation Punch, Decoration Day Daquiri, and Cemetery Cider. What a great souvenir!

When the contributors to Death’s Garden Revisited and I started talking about events we could hold to get the word out about the book, Sharon offered to host a Cemetery Happy Hour. We recorded it last weekend.

If you’re reading this on your phone, sometimes the video embedding doesn’t work. You can watch the video on youtube: https://youtu.be/H5BN8WWZq-c

Each of the contributors — Chris LaMay-West, Sharon Pajka, Denise N. Tapscott, and me — created a drink to celebrate the cemetery they wrote about in their essays. I wanted to include my recipe here.

The Ghost of Lone Mountain Cemetery

2 oz. St. George Vodka

1 oz. Creme de Mure

1 oz. Creme de Violette

A squeeze of lemon

Served in a martini glass and garnished with a skull ice cube.

Remember, if you’d like to preorder a copy of Death’s Garden Revisited, personal essays about the cemeteries we form relationships with, the Kickstarter ends on Saturday, April 16, at 9 AM Pacific. Here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lorenrhoads/deaths-garden-revisited-relationships-with-cemeteries 

Death’s Garden contributor: Chris LaMay-West

Chris LaMay-West believes in the power of rock music, poetry, and cats. His work has appeared in numerous venues. A California native, Chris resides in Vermont, where he writes, works for a college, and lives with his wife, two cats, a dog, several chickens, and an unbelievable number of bunnies. You can learn more at https://chrislamaywest.com/.

Chris and I met many years ago at an open mic I hosted for Morbid Curiosity magazine. He wrote for the magazine several times, read at my events, and was really fun to get to know.

His story for Death’s Garden Revisited is about visiting Pension Mountain Cemetery in Berryville, Arkansas, where he has family buried and his grandfather served as caretaker.

What’s your favorite thing to do in a cemetery?

Look for the oldest headstones and struggle to make out the faded legends.

Tell me about your favorite cemetery.

There are some amazing cemeteries in Boston: dates going back to the 1600s and people who you previously thought only existed in textbooks.

Is there a cemetery or gravesite you’ve always wanted to visit?

Yeats and Kerouac are high on my list.

If you have any choice, what would your epitaph be?

He tried to leave it better than he found it.

Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?

“Long Black Veil” comes to mind. You will, of course, not go wrong with the Cash version, but I’d like to also suggest the cover by The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash as well.

Loren again:

I had a lot of fun putting together a playlist of cemetery songs recommended by the Death’s Garden Revisited contributors. You can listen to it here.

I would also love it if you’d check out Death’s Garden Revisited, which is available for preorder on Kickstarter for a few more days. This beautiful book will be full of 40 amazing essays about why visiting cemeteries is important. Check it out — and please consider ordering a copy for yourself: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lorenrhoads/deaths-garden-revisited-relationships-with-cemeteries