|UNIQUE & UNUSUAL GRAVES:
This friendly-looking wood scarecrow marks the grave of Jarrice L.
Shone (February 1st, 1938-March 16th, 1994). At the time of
her death, she was 56 years old. Hanging on a pole next to the scarecrow
is a small ornate birdfeeder and into each corner of the headstone's pediment,
someone has carefully etched hearts. These ornaments coupled with
the large shade tree that spreads over the grave like a canopy give the
area the impression of being more like a cozy, inviting grandmother's backyard
rather than a cold, stark cemetery. Perhaps in her life, Mrs. Shone
was a gardener or took great pride in her yard and in death, her grave
reflects that aspect of her personality.
This handmade wooden cross for Brian Bertram (January 23rd, 1977-July 18th,
1999) has inlaid ovals for holding pictures and raised wooden hearts and
lettering. From the appearance, I would guess that considerable time
and effort went into the creation of this marker. The pictures show
Mr. Bertram wearing a cowboy hat, posing with a young girl (whether she
is his sister or his girlfriend or just a friend, I'm not sure...) and
posing with a older woman, his mother or another female relative perhaps.
Also present at the grave are three different types of beer (all of which
have been opened and poured onto the grave itself and allowed to soak in),
a Rebel flag, a small porcelain angel figurine, a cheerleader's pom-pom
(perhaps left by a bereaved girlfriend or the girl in the picture on his
cross?) and several bouquets of silk flowers in various shades. Mr.
Bertram was only 22 when he died, the same age that I am now.
The most prominent feature on the grave of Jimmie Sconci (March 12th, 1938
- July 7th, 1999) is the large American flag. There were several
graves in Haynie Chapel Cemetery of war veterans, so maybe Mr. Sconci was
a soldier or in some other especially patriotic profession. He was
born too late to have served in the second World War, but he could have
fought in Korea or Vietnam or served in the military during peacetime.
Perhaps he was an employee of the Federal government, such as a postal
worker or an FBI agent. The headstone offered no clues. Maybe
the person who placed this flag on Mr. Sconci's grave did so simply because
it was distinctive. The large flag was actually one of the first
landmarks that I noticed when I entered the cemetery. Another unusual
feature of this grave is the bench and the pair of angels at the foot of
the site. A second, unmarked plot lies immediately beside Mr. Sconci's
grave and is presumably being reserved for his wife. His wife is
probably one of the major forces behind the design of this gravesite and
for the mounds of silk flowers, figurines, small statues, and potted plants
that surround the site. Clearly, someone has put in a lot of time,
love thought, and effort into this area and made it one of the most memorable
graves on my visit to this cemetery.
Robert Lee Contreras (July 13th, 1989-September 27th, 1989). This
baby was only two months old when he died. The headstone for this
grave is a cinderblock that was cut into the shape of a cross and hand-lettered
in blue. There are two angels, one made of concrete and a smaller
one made from porcelain. The small angel looks to be hand painted
with golden wings and halo, brown skin, and a pale blue dress. The
larger angel is resting his cheek upon his palm and is looking especially
Several small seashells and stones are carefully arranged on this grave
where the body of Flora E. Linebaugh (June 28th, 1917-February 1st, 1997)
rests. Most of the stones are smooth and oval-shaped; one of them
is polished and is engraved with the word "love." A small heart-shaped
mold has also been placed over the area of the grave where this person's
head would be. The significance of the heart frame is unknown but
since her death was as the beginning of February, near Valentine's Day,
that could have something to do with it. Then again, because hearts
appear on several other graves throughout Haynie Chapel cemetery, it could
also be that whoever left it here was simply trying to express their love
or their own heartbreak at the loss of Mrs. Linebaugh. The headstone
is engraved with a pretty, feminine floral pattern and the caption reads:
"beloved mother and grandmother."