Oh, before I forget, my mom tells me that those tall spindly daisies that are growing like weeds in my yard (because they are weeds) are called…
Apparently because they grow happiest in cow patties.
To liven everything in my yard up, I am going to stick “poop” on the front of it.
Anyway, a very kind and generous Scottsboro resident, who I will let remain nameless unless she chooses to out herself, took me on a more personalized tour of Bell’s Bend than I had heretofore been on.
And she took me to the Barnes cemetery.
I felt like a complete and joyous nerd seeing all the names of the folks I’d written about.
I would, if you don’t mind, like to decline to tell you where it is, because it’s hard to find and because it’s hard to find, people can leave the stuff they leave on the graves with no fear of it being disturbed. But it was amazing. I have never in my whole life been in a cemetery like it–one with the kind of energy it has. You feel like this is a place where living people can come and sit with their dead people and know the dead people are there, if they can be.
It seemed like half of the markers were hand-done, concrete with either marbles set in or written in while wet. One marker had no words, just a tiny piece of fence behind it and a decorative plate on it.
Four gravestones had toy cars/trucks/earthmoving equipment just sitting on the tops of them, undisturbed.
If May Town Center goes through, there is no way this cemetery can stay how it is. Yes, the graves will stay put and yes you may still be able to come out here on Sundays and sit with your dead people.
But folks, remember when you were a teenager? Would you not have taken something from there? Not out of maliciousness, but just to creep yourself and your friends out, with no thought to how the folks who put those things there would feel? That place will be robbed naked unless you hire armed guards (and even then…). If bratten kids know about it, they will cause mischief in it.
How, once that cemetery is in the middle of “town,” do you keep its character? I don’t think you can.
And yet, I know that’s just a small piece, but damn it, it seems to me a heartbreaking piece of this whole thing.