Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Road trip day 11

Taphophile Tragics
Today we have visited Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, TN. Elmwood Cemetery is one of the first rural garden cemeteries in the South. This cemetery had his first burial in 1852. Nowadays there are 75,000 people buried here, with space for 15,000 more. This is really a beautiful cemetery with many, many trees: ancient elms, oaks, magnolia, etc. There are veterans of every American war, generals, senators, governors, mayors, madams and murderers, and, of course ordinary citizens buried here. (source website Elmwood)

Because this is a huge cemetery we asked for a map in their visitor center. To our surprise they offered a map and an audio tour, which we bought. (the tour lasts about one hour and visits over 60 stops throughout the grounds) At first I thought it was a little bit weird, a audio tour on a cemetery, but it turned out to be very interesting. During our ride over the cemetery a lot of interesting graves were pointed out and we got all kinds of background information. 

Today I would like to show you photos of what the cemetery calls 'Jeffrey Smith's swing'. This swing was built for a young boy, Jeffrey W. Smith jr., by Elmwood superintendent Todd Fox. He built the swing to make it easier for the young boy (only 9 years old at the time) to visit his father's grave.
His father's grave can be seen between the swing and the tree (a brownish rock) that says: Jeffrey Wellington Smith Jan. 3, 1945 - Feb. 13, 1997. Jeffrey W. Smith sr. died of cancer, at the age of 52. He was an architect and award-winning designer of children's toys. (more information can be found here)
When I searched the internet for more information I read some comments from other people who think this is spooky or scary. But I only thought it was very kind and thoughtful of this superintendent to make a place like this a little less scary for a little boy

Jeffrey Smith's swing

This is my contribution to this weeks Taphophile Tragics.


  1. How unusual, but beautiful at the same time. I can see why some people would find it spooky.

    Herding Cats

  2. I think it is a beautiful idea..although I can also see why some think it's a bit spooky, particularly on a dark & windy night.

  3. Nellies, what a kind and thoughtful thing for the super to do for the young lad. You captured the two scenes in a sweet and poignant manner. Fascinating information you gleaned as well. Wonderful post.

  4. I think is a sweet idea of a loving parent. Beautiful photo's of the scene.

  5. A swing is not something I expect to see in a cemetery, but definitely a nice touch. Have you ever seen anyone using it?
    PS: I really like your first shot. The focus on the swing with the cemetery in the background is really nice.

  6. I find this neither spooky nor scarey. I find it, instead, quite delightful. I wonder if the young boy - who would now be only in his mid 30s - ever returns? It would be fitting were the boy, when his times comes round, as round it will come, were to be buried beneath the seat of the swing. Closure.

    Lovely post, Nellies.

  7. I don't find this spooky - I love it. It's touching that someone would build a swing for the boy. I like the perspective in this photo.

  8. I don't find it spooky either. It is a lovely idea and I wonder if other children have made use of it as well.


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