Lambs of God In Cemeteries

People often think my life just starts and ends with Bonaventure Cemetery or that I’m just another tour guide or tour company owner. This is hardly the case and a perception that is unfortunate at times. If you ever meet me in person you’ll see I have broad shoulders. Some of that comes from digging graves as a teenager. I’ve done the hard labor and the mental labor equally. All of which lives in my company spirit and how we do things. In the 1980s, while working in a Victorian Cemetery in high school, on a hot summer’s day, I was weedeating at the very edge of the cemetery overlooking a farmer’s field from a higher point where it dropped off a few feet down. Suddenly, the wire blade began kicking up tiny bones, some of them in medical bags, some of them far older. It turns out I’d uncovered a forgotten section where stillborn infants had been reposited. Over time, the erosion had washed that edge more into the farmer’s field bringing the bones closer to the surface. In the end I suppose I saved it by bringing it to the attention of those in charge, but it to this day, remains unmarked and cannot say whether its any more protected than it once was. The world is full of such cemetery sections. Its like a dark secret. Most are only known to certain elders of towns or authorities. And when they die, that knowledge tends to go with them I’ve found. Today its unusual to find a family with 4 children let alone 10, 12 or 16. Having such stock was once seen as the ultimate statement of a family’s richness vs what they simply “owned.” It certainly meant longevity but was also a practical matter. Mothers and fathers knew the deal and at times wondered about the loving faces smiling up at them, “Will we all be together by Christmas? or “Will we all know each other next Spring?” It was not a question of “if,” but rather “WHO” — would end up dying young. This theme has stayed with me as in many ways, children were the number one customers and drivers of the funeral industry in America’s 19th century. Its a bittersweet subject of course but inescapable in my work so I wanted to make this video as a devotion of a kind. It will be one of many. Hope you enjoy it.

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