Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Taphophile Tragics

During our vacation we visited, among others, the Oaklawn Cemetery in Sparta, Tennessee. It was next to the highway and we decided to have a look. It was a small cemetery with mostly small gravestones lying in the grass with flowers next to them. See photo below:

Oaklawn Cemetery

There was another section in this cemetery where people were buried with gravestones that were standing upright. Among these graves I stumbled upon a very touching grave, actually two graves:

The gravestones read the following from left to right:
Below the drawing it reads: Here comes the new greeter at the gate Chance Jordan Milton, always loving, always loved, Sept 5, 1985 - June 3, 2007. Absent from the body, present with the Lord.
Below the drawing it reads: Go rest high on that mountain. Wynn Heath Milton, we love you always, Sept 8, 1981 - Sept 21, 2007. Life is not forever, Love is.
What struck me the most was that these two young men are brothers. And for some reason they both died during a three month period. Another thing that got my attention was the amount of details engraved in their gravestones.  Chance's stone had a drawing of the gate to heaven and a portrait of Chance in a golf cart. Wynn had a drawing on his stone wich included a portrait of Wynn with the woods an mountains behind him. Further more there were a lot of photos of these men, that certainly attracts my attention, because I always wonder what people looked like during their life.

The backside of these gravestones were also quite impressive, engraved with multiple portraits and more text. These brothers were very much loved and their parents made sure that shows from their graves.

The basketball net was on the vast next to Wynn's gravestone.  The inscription 'Tennessee school for the deaf' belonged to
Chance's gravestone.
This walkmans, a real one and one engraved in the vase, were next to Chance's grave.
I had hoped to find information on the internet about the tragic behind this story. The only thing I could find was an obituary for Wynn Heath Milton: Wynn died at White County Hospital, he was preceded in death by his brother Chance Jordan Milton and that memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society in memory of his brother Chance. So this makes me believe that Chance died of cancer, but it doesn't tell me why or how his brother also died. Anyhow, I think this is incredibly sad, whatever the story behind this may be. Their parents must be devastated.

For more interesting stories and photos go to Julie's Taphophile Tragics.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Home sweet home

And we are back home again, what a great trip we had! In three weeks we drove from New York City to New Orleans and back to the City again. I have many, many photos from our trip, so you might see one or two pop up here on my blog. Today I have a photo that I made yesterday evening on Columbus Avenue, while walking over to the movie theatre. While we were away summer also arrived in NYC, it is hot and humid, a good time to sit in a cool theater and watch a movie.

By the way, today we celebrate Memorial Day, this is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Columbus Avenue, NYC
Photo made on my iPhone, processed with Snapseed.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Road trip day 21

Our first three hours of driving were OK, but then Memorial-Day-Weekend-traffic joined us.... Busy, busy, busy. Accident here, accident there, traffic jam, more traffic jams. Eventually we saw a bunch of motels along the road and we booked ourselves a room for the night. So, here we are in Laurel, Maryland only 200 miles from home, but this way it will be a short drive tomorrow. 

This great truck with cat-eyes stood in front of us in one of the traffic jams, I think this is really cool!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Road trip day 20

Today another day of driving: from Kingsland, Georgia to Selma, North Carolina. Haven't seen much today, other than the Interstate-95, rest area's, Ruby Tuesday for lunch and our hotel for the night. So today another photo from the road trip archive. This photo was taken in Memphis, Tennessee from the rooftop of our hotel. The river between the buildings and the sun is the Mississippi river.

For more skies from around the world head over to Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Road trip day 19

Driving, driving and driving, that's what we did today. From Panama City Beach, Florida to Kingsland in Georgia. I didn't make a single photo today. But I have made a lot of photos in the past weeks, so here's one that I took in Nashville, TN at the former plantation home (The Hermitage) of Andrew Jackson. The Hermitage is now a museum, but once home to former president Andrew Jackson. He owned slaves, who of course worked for him and who also lived on the grounds. You get to see his mansion (most of the interior is still original) the grounds, the family graves, Alfred's cabin (the last remaining slave cabin) etc. It was really a very interesting museum!

This photo is, as I said, from the grounds of the Hermitage, overlooking the (now) empty fields, but once very lucrative cotton fields.

The Hermitage

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Road trip day 18

We are enjoying the nice weather in Florida at the moment. Nice beaches, sunshine all day long and temperatures in the 80's Fahrenheit (30ºC +). Sunday night we slept in a hotel in Pensacola Beach. Yesterday we drove to Panama City Beach and we are staying in a great beach condo right along the Gulf of Mexico. Wikipedia tells me that Panama City Beach's slogan is: "The world's most beautiful beaches" due to the sugar-white sandy beaches. And they are white, I have never seen such white beaches before, it is really beautiful here. Unfortunately we must make our way back to New York in the next few days. That means a lot of driving and no more beaches for us. Ah well, all good comes to an end, right?

Gulf of Mexico
see-through-umbrella next to the swimming pool

Monday, May 21, 2012

Road trip day 16

We spend the weekend in New Orleans. What a great city. This was my first time visiting the city, but I definitely will go back some other time. We didn't have enough time to visit all the places we wanted. 
One of the things we did see was Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden next to the Museum of Art. Wow, that is really a great garden to walk around in, so many beautiful and unique sculptures. I liked the ones below the most.

Sculpture by Fernando Botero
(Back home in New York I very often see another sculpture by Botero in the mall, many people like to pose next to it for photos, but that's got a lot to do with the sculpture's genitals, the NY Times has an nice article about that)
Artist: Leandro Erlich, Argentinean, born 1973
Title: Window and Ladder. Too Late for Help.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Road trip day 13

Only a short drive today, about 125 miles. From Clarksdale to Vicksburg, Mississippi.
To be honest we haven't seen much from this city (yet). It is very hot, so instead of exploring we decided to sit outside in the shade on the porch that comes with our room at the Cedar Grove Inn in Vicksburg. We are enjoying the good life.

"Our" porch with garden views and luckily lots of shade

the garden 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Road trip day 12

Besides visiting Graceland there was another thing a wanted to go see in Memphis: The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. 
The Lorraine Motel is where Dr. Martin Luther King jr.was assassinated in front of his motel room on April 4, 1968. This museum is not only about MLK, but also traces the history of the Civil Rights Movement from the 17th century to the present. And you also get to have a look inside room 306, where MLK stayed in April 1968.
This museum was very interesting, we spend more than 3 hours inside listening to the audiotour and reading everything that was on display. 

Of course I made a photo of the outside of Motel Lorraine, a picture that (I think) everyone has seen before. But I could not leave without this, almost, cliché photo. I am actually very pleased with how it turned out in black and white:

Motel Lorraine, Memphis

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.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Road trip day 10

Time flies when you are having fun. Yesterday we arrived in Memphis, Tennessee, home to blues and Elvis Presley ☺. I am enjoying the weather here a lot. After all the rain and chilly weather we have had in our first week it is nice to walk outside in a dress, no jacket, and your flip flops. 
I guess the main attraction in downtown Memphis is Beale Street; lots of bars with live music, souvenir shops, people watching and food, food, food. I am not really into blues, but it still is fun to walk around and listen to all the music. 

This is the shopping window from A. Schwab Dry Goods Store in Beale Street.
I think that the original Dry Goods store is not in business anymore and that it is a restaurant/bar or some sorts now, but they were closed so I couldn't check.

Today we went to Graceland, where Elvis Presley used to live. I always wanted to go here someday. It was very quiet, we had plenty of time and space to walk around and have a good look. I took lots of photos, but they aren't really special (there wasn't much light inside and you weren't allowed to use flash, keeping my camera steady under these conditions turned out to be difficult for me, ha ha, most of the photos aren't really in focus). The one photo that I liked the most was made with my iPhone, right before we left (see below). I am glad I got to see this for myself, it is really a cool place!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Road trip day 8

We have arrived in Nashville, Tennessee. Unfortunately it is raining cats and dogs over here, so we are not seeing as much of this city as we would have liked. But after driving around for a few days it is also nice to stay in your hotelroom and enjoy an afternoon sleep, watch tv and even spend some time in the fitnessroom (I find it difficult to exercise enough and eat healthy when I am on a road trip, so a fitness room in your hotel is actually nice for a change)

The photo below was taken yesterday on Highway 70 West somewhere between Dandridge and Nashville.

Ford Falcon

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Road trip day 6

Today we did a lot of driving. From Charlottesville, VA to Dandridge, TN (about 300 miles). 
I didn't photograph a lot, except for a few shots I made from the car, like the one below. It is the welcome sign that meets you when you drive into Bristol. This sign is located on the state line between Bristol, Virginia and twin city Bristol, Tennessee. We were thinking of staying the night in Bristol, but it wasn't the nice little town we had hoped for. Instead we drove another 100 or so miles and now we are staying not even in a town or city really, but in some anonymous motel along the road and in between McDonalds and the Waffle House, haha.

Welcome to Bristol

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Road trip day 5

Today we drove from Front Royal to Charlottesville, Virginia. We did the 'Skyline Drive' which is a 105 mile drive through Shenandoah National Park. It's a great drive with beautiful views along the way. Unfortunately it was a little bit hazy and my photos didn't turn out great. We did see an American Black Bear while driving, that was amazing! But my favorite part of today was when we drove past an abandoned motel in Afton, VA. There were no signs that said 'no trespassing' or something like that so I took the opportunity to peek inside and make some photos. As far as I can find on the internet the motel was abandoned by the owner in the early 2000's. In 2004 the building was also damaged by an arson fire. There was even growing a tree through the roof. It really was a sad sight and I don't know why they don't tear it down and make it look a little bit nicer. After all this place was across from the entrance of Shenandoah Nat'l Park which gets about 2 million visitors a year, I would think a new motel in that spot would work. But hey, what do i know
Here are my photos:

For some reason they moved all kinds of stuff in this room including a few toilets...
Weeds everywhere
Peeking inside and outside 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Road trip day 4

Today was a slow day, but we did one thing and that was visiting a cemetery in Annapolis. The St. Anne's Cemetery. This is an old cemetery and in use since the late 1800's. There were many old headstones, barely readable, but I kind of like that. I was trying to find out some interesting information about some of the names I found on the headstones, but the internet connection in our Super 8 motel is soooo slow I am happy just to be able to post this as is....

We also did a little bit of driving today, we ended up in Front Royal, Virginia. There is nothing much to do here, but it is close to the start of the Skyline Drive and we are planning to drive that one tomorrow.

St. Anne's Cemetery, Annapolis MD

Monday, May 7, 2012

Road trip Day 3

Today we travelled from Cape May, New Jersey to Annapolis, Maryland. We didn't drive a lot, but were on our way for most of the day. In Cape May we took the ferry to Lewes, Delaware. The ferry takes you across the Delaware Bay, that's about 17 miles and takes 85 minutes of your time. It was very windy, so after I took a few photos outside we went to the bar at the front of the ship and enjoyed the rest of our trip behind glass.
At the end of the day we ended up in Annapolis for an early dinner and we also started browsing the internet for a nice place to stay (we didn't plan a thing, so every night it's a surprise where we will spend the night). We found a riverfront bed and breakfast that still had a room available: Laurel Grove Inn. This is a great place to spend the night, great views, very friendly family and our bed is a bliss. 

Ferry to Lewes, Delaware
Harbor of Refuge lighthouse, Delaware

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Road trip Day 1 & 2.

My husband, Peter, and I are on a road trip. We left New York Saturday, in our rental car, and are on our way to New Orleans, LA. We are taking it slow and only drove for three hours yesterday to stay in Cape May, NJ
Cape May is a lovely little town by the beach, unfortunately it is actually cold at the moment (64 F/18ºC) so we settled for the indoor pool. I love to walk around in Cape May, there are many beautiful Victorian houses, great restaurants and this place just gives you a holiday feeling (if only the weather were a little bit better....)
Tonight we stay for another night in Cape May, but tomorrow we will be on the road again!

I have a weakness for rocking chairs and porches,  I can't stop making photos of them 

Victorian houses, these were built in 1869

Friday, May 4, 2012

Earlier I was very busy trying to finish all the work I had to do for my first deadline, well I made it!
I am very happy that the work is done, for now, and I can go outside and enjoy making some photos again.
This is a fence I photographed somewhere in Harlem.

Happy Fence Friday everyone and have a wonderful weekend!
{I am linking with Friday Fences, hop over there to see more beautiful fences}

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

And now for something completely different....
Meet Danbo, my newest miniature toy (about 3 inches in height)
We bought some strawberries tonight and they were so huge I had to make a photo before we ate them all.
This is wat I came up with