Tag Archives: Deaths Garden Revisited

The Kickstarter’s Last Day

It’s finally here! Today is the final day of Kickstarter campaign for the cemetery book I’m editing, Death’s Garden Revisited.

At this point, 100 people have backed the project, ensuring that the black & white photos will be upgraded to color, I’ll be able to commission a couple of essays to fill out the book, and there will be more cemetery photos than I originally planned. This book is going to be so beautiful!

Backers are giving me the ability to finish the sequel to my cemetery memoir, Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. Everyone who donated — from the $5 level on up — will receive a copy of the new ebook. I am really excited to find out what they think of it.

The best reward — at least in my mind — is that every backer will be thanked inside Death’s Garden Revisited. I’m thrilled to be able to acknowledge their faith in me.

In case you haven’t seen it, this is the video in which I talk about the book:

Sometimes the video embeds get stripped out of the email versions, so you can watch it at this link: https://youtu.be/gxg-Hjh8-bo

This project has been a dream of mine for 25 years. I’m so excited that it’s going to become a reality this year.

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

Death’s Garden contributor: M. Parfitt

I’ve known M. Parfitt since the late 90s, when she submitted a wonderful essay about dressing up as a little girl for an after-dark tour of Sacramento, California’s Old City Cemetery to my Morbid Curiosity magazine. You can read that story here.

The essay she submitted to Death’s Garden Revisited is about becoming a tour guide at the Old City Cemetery. Her dedication to the people she brings back to life on her tours is really inspiring.

M. Parfitt in mourning garb

Officially, M. Parfitt is an artist, writer, collector of exquisitely awful junk, keeper of hair, and hoarder of yellowed newspaper clippings. You may find her wandering down a deserted alley, traipsing through an old cemetery, or peering into an abandoned warehouse. Her collages incorporate photographs, bloodstained paper, and other unexpected materials.

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

Take photos, look for “Mattie” on headstones, and (in the Historic City Cemetery) tell stories!

Tell me about your favorite cemetery.

Sacramento’s Historic City Cemetery is as old as the City of Sacramento and it’s the permanent home of more than 25,000 interesting people. It’s always been a city-owned cemetery, so it’s a very egalitarian place. When I give tours, I tell visitors that any color, any creed, any race, any religion, ANYONE could be buried there. The only color that mattered was green — if you could afford a plot, you could be buried there. There are still about a dozen interments a year, but if you want to spend eternity there, you better have a deed or proof that your ancestors bought a plot, because that’s the only way to get in now. That means I’ll never be buried there, but that’s fine — I just want a little bit of my ashes tossed in on a windy day so they scatter to different plots and sections.

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

I would love to visit Highgate Cemetery in London.

Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?

“Long Black Veil.” It’s been recorded a million times, but Johnny Cash’s version is my favorite.

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 now. This beautiful book will be full of 40 amazing essays about why visiting cemeteries is important. Check it out — and please consider joining the other backers: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lorenrhoads/deaths-garden-revisited-relationships-with-cemeteries

Death’s Garden Party

This Saturday, April 2, I’ll be hosting a party on the Cemetery Travel Facebook page from Noon to 3:00 PM Pacific to celebrate the successful Kickstarter for Death’s Garden Revisited.

Some of the contributors will stop by to discuss their favorite cemeteries and the stories they added to the book. There will be cemetery-focused prizes and lots of like-minded souls.

Make yourself a cup of tea or pour a glass of cordial and join us at the Cemetery Travel page on Facebook. Here’s the direct link to the party: https://www.facebook.com/events/1416064368811830

Death’s Garden contributor: Carole Tyrrell

I met Carole Tyrrell years ago, when I discovered her blog Shadows Fly Away. She wonder a wonderfully in-depth feature where she examines one symbol that appears on gravestones, usually in England, and provides history, analysis, and beautiful photos to illustrate it.

Always attracted to the dark side of life as it’s much more entertaining, Carole has been involved with cemeteries for over 30 years. They are an oasis of peace and history. Carole’s fascination with cemetery symbols and their meaning has led to her blog, leading symbolism tours, and a forthcoming book. I can’t wait to read it.

Carole’s essay in Death’s Garden Revisited is about falling in love with London’s Nunhead Cemetery — and how the cemetery changed her life.

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

Appreciate the calm.

One of Carole’s lovely photos from Nunhead Cemetery.

Tell me about your favorite cemetery.

Very overgrown, very Gothic, great view from the top of the hill.

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

Too many to mention! One is Arnos Vale in Bristol.

If you have anything to say about it, what would your epitaph be?

See you soon.

Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?

“Cemeteries of London” by Coldplay.

That’s perfect! You can check out Carole’s contributor to the Death’s Garden Revisited playlist on Spotify.

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