One day, the actress took me to see Graceland Cemetery… I was living in Chicago, and she said it was a must see. It was a beautiful spring day, and we strolled the grounds… me snapping pics and she studying her lines for a play that was opening soon. Never one to miss a dramatic opportunity, she began posing with the statuary… giving me her reaction to each theme. When we came to the stone knight, she fell to the ground and played the ‘fair maiden struck down in the prime of life’. After she got up, I asked her if he had slain her. “Oh no”, she replied, “he stands guard, protecting her.”
The Crusader by Lorado Taft (1931)… Cemeteries are the perfect place for a history lesson. I learned a lot about Chicago history at Graceland. The place names I had seen around the city came alive with the dead. The men and women who created Chicago, or made her interesting, making their final stop at Graceland and the other cemeteries around town. Their gravesites were fascinating, not only for the artwork, but for how they wanted to be portrayed. Some erected huge mausoleums, and some preferred something quieter… like their name carved upon a rock. Victor Lawson got a Medieval Knight. Victor was the publisher of the Chicago Daily News, and the sculpture embodied his character. The monument does not bear Lawson’s name, but does have an inscription which reads, “Above all things truth beareth away victory”. At his brother’s request, Lorado Taft sculpted The Crusader out of a single block of dark granite.
Taft’s most famous sculpture also stands sentinel at Graceland… although of a different type… it is entitled Eternal Silence.
I thought of my photo, taken in 1988, while watching Game of Thrones last night. The knights protecting their charges… and some not with protection in mind.
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For my friends hanging out at the Still. Here is one I wrote a while back… I thought of it when I advised one of our yeahwriters (the girl in Chicago… do you know who I mean?) to visit Graceland Cemetery.
For my other friends, check out this week’s other stories at yeahwrite’s Moonshine Grid
Last week I saw the most amazing sight.
I had gone to the mainland to see my grandson play in a baseball tournament. Hayden graduates from high school this year, and my chances to see him play ball are dwindling. So I headed North, with Ashley and my sister Mariya, to the utmost edge of the U.S.A. (not counting Alaska) near Blaine. Washington.
We got as far as Bellingham before a stop at a coffee shop was needed. I was actually surprised we got out of Anacortes without stopping to see Ashley’s favorite barista, but that was a good thing, as she stopped in Fairhaven. Bellingham is made up with a bunch of little towns that kind of grew together. Fairhaven is the oldest, and the buildings are of the historic type. Reminded me a bit of Old Sacramento. I bought some licorice, while they got their coffee and some fab cheesecake… and took photos.
We neared Baine and started looking for Pipeline Road and the baseball fields. Driving country roads is always a treat. “Stop the car!” We had just passed 15 ponies lying on the ground. All of them lying on the ground. And they were all Palominos. It was something to see and we went back to take a photo. When I got out of the car and went to the edge of the road, a few stood up. By the time I jumped the ditch and got to the fence they were all looking my way… like dogs expecting a treat. I wished then I had some apples in my pocket rather than licorice. Those little ponies made me think of my friend Jaime, who raises miniature horses to be guide animals. They did their bit for a unique photo-op. I will never forget the sight of those horses.
We find the baseball tournament, and Friday Harbor wins one and loses one. I take a bunch of pics. The usual baseball pics… Hayden at bat… Hayden in the field… Hayden running the bases… that kind of stuff. Later, I notice one shot I took with my phone… I think it’s pretty cool.