In Savannah. This photo serves the purposes of 01) I took it!, and 02) it’s a cemetery.
I was on a history tour in a cemetery a few evenings back. A second ago is history. This history tour did not cover too many seconds ago; this isn’t a very aged town.
This is a city likely named after one of Shakespeare’s protagonists. The first crematorium south of D.C. was in Orlando. Over a century ago, a man picked up your piss buckets and your vermin and disposed of them in a sinkhole and in a backwater town three-days journey north, respectively. During this time, Orlando had an opera house. We no longer have an opera company. Amongst the city’s inventions include the reflectors that line the center of roadways. An ordinance written into the books in the late-19th century declared no other land fit for human burial, and so Greenwood is the only cemetery in the city. Haitian gypsies throw change at the gates each morning, sometimes they leave fowl.
Within the gates are two bald eagles, soon to be more. Eagles mate high up in the air, plummeting together, dispersing before hitting the ground as if repelled by a sort of magnetism. There must be a better way, although it is hard to deny its impressiveness. Other animals on the grounds include coyotes. Well, only one of these. Heaven knows how it got there. Once, there was a gopher tortoise. The creature burrowed under the plot of an old family, hitting the air pockets where bodies once were, causing the grave markers to be swallowed by the ground. They spent $5000 to relocate the protected tortoise, and within a week, a 90-year-old lady ran over it in her Cadillac.
There are two wooden grave markers, nearly petrified. One mausoleum with a birth date, but the man was so hated by the end of his life that nobody was around to carve in his death. He is in it alone, an all too symbolic statement on death. On the highest point in the cemetery - also the highest point in the city - stands the tombstone of the cemetery’s architect. From it, one can see the skyline, a spattering of multicolored lights. A contest in the early part of the 20th century provided this town with the moniker, “The City Beautiful.” But from this view, the runner-up seems more apt: The Magic City.
I like this town in a way that cannot be shared. It is not a great town, it is not one I would recommend visiting. But it is my hometown. You learn to love the things you cannot choose until you forget why you love them at all.