I've talked about it before, but the Elmwood cemetery, halfway between my house and downtown, is in terrible shape. The city replaced the chain-link fence I used to run my hand along as a child during a gentrification project a few years ago, but from the first row things are going awry. Sinkholes, fallen stones, illegibility, weeds, odd lumps in the terrain...it's bizarre. Well, not really; it's an old cemetery, I suppose, and there've been maybe a dozen people interred there in the last fifty years. It's been niggling at me for most of my life in a very low-key way.
So I walk around there today on my walk from downtown, and decide to go back home and get my camera to come back and take a few pictures, wondering if there are such things as a cemetery manifest and if anyone else cares about this. Is reconstruction even possible? I see two women walking around with a binder, and it turns out less than twenty-four hours ago a story was printed about these two women and their decision to, well, clean up the cemetery.
I introduced myself and we chatted for a while about the sorry state of the cemetery, the city's $300,000 fence, and how the city doesn't want anyone to see the list of occupancy, as it were, because the paper is too fragile. So next spring and summer I may be trying to assist in the restoration of the Elmwood cemetery.
I'm glad it was a nice day.