Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I've probably spent a lot more time in cemeteries than most people my age, and I've enjoyed most of it, too.
A great wooden area in Pawtucket, Rhode Island led into Swan Point Cemetery, a large and very old place where, among others, horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is buried. The area was beautiful and serene - joggers were encouraged to use the area, and it was near a river and full squirrels, birds and other fun critters. I spent whole summers in those woods, looking for the oldest, oddest or most regal grave.
We also have a family burial plot where my great-great-great-great grandfather is buried in Massachusetts, and once a year we would pay respects in what my dad called "Visit the dead Rubins" day.
Finally, my dad worked for a few years as the owner of a monument company (a.k.a. gravestones), and his office was filled with stones, plaques, urns and other cool stuff for a young boy to check out.
Recently, Slate did an article about people who spend a lot of time at graveyards called "gravers." It seemed like a bullshit non-existant trend story, until my coworker told me he is totally a graver and visits graveyards all over the world. My Dad also claimed to be a proud graver - he used to do rubbings of graves so he could collect imprints of their text and artwork.
I never really found graves or cemeteries creepy for some reason. Maybe because I went there so often, or because I read lots of comics, or maybe there is just something soothing about stone, grass and the outdoors.