Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Welcome to my Playground!

Today's journey found me once again in my childhood stomping grounds again. This time I visited my former church. Back then it was known as "Covenant Lutheran Church", or as we sometimes called it "The Convenient Lutheran Church". The building is very old and very small. There was no air conditioning and the maximum capacity was probably about 50 people. It is rumored that this church appeared in the background during some scenes of "Gone With The Wind". See that funny little window over the front door? That's actually where the church bell was located and a rope hung down into the nave. When church was over, the kids were allowed (even encouraged) to yank that rope and ring the bell for as long and as loudly as we wanted. We usually didn't waste a lot of time ringing the bell, because we were rushing down to the kitchen in the basement where we were allowed to eat the left over communion bread. I've never been a big bread eater, but this bread was incredible. It was freshly baked each week by Frita Schwartz, and anything that was leftover was fair game. We'd usually grab a hand full of bread and then head out back to the cemetary. The cemetary was our playground and we had a ball there! We were probably the most disrespectful children in the world- the dead that were buried there probably hate us til this day! We weren't real concerned about the proper cemetary etiquite- we stepped on graves, etc. There was one family plot (pictured here) that had 4 tall markers. We would climb on top of them and hop from one to the next.

But, in the process we got some education from our graveyard playtime. We read the markers and felt sad when we saw the baby graves. We knew where all of the children in the cemetary were located. In fact, I could still find all of their markers today, 30 years later! We had glaring examples of the injustices of slavery -- the slaves had their own section in the cemetary- no engraved headstones, no markers, no nothing. If they were lucky, they got a large rock placed on their grave- just to symbolize that a body was there, but not really anyone worth mentioning or remembering. Even as a child I recognized how unfair this was.

There was one section of the cemetary that housed the remains of the Crockett family- all relatives of the infamous Davy Crockett. There was a wrought iron fence around this section, and it was probably the most prestigious family plot located there. Today, only a few sections of the fence remain, and the markers are so timeworn that you can barely read the name Crockett on any of them. But I remember them well.

Below are a few random shots that I took around the cemetary. It's in pretty bad shape- tall grass & weeds everywhere, fallen markers, litter, etc. But as I walked through the cemetary today, I wasn't really focusing on those aspects. I was remembering the good times that I had there. I could see myself, my brothers and our friends, running through the graveyard- playing tag and hide-and-go-seek, in our little polyester 70's-style suits.



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