Friday, October 21, 2011

October Days

Every Fall a local, historical (almost 200 years old) cemetary
hosts a "Cemetary Stroll"
and features local people dressed in period clothing
who portray the famous and not-so-famous that are buried here.
For example, I didn't know that one of Samuel Clemons' cousins,
Jeremiah Clemons, is buried here, and that he also wrote novels.
.This year there were almost 70 people that were "risen from the grave", so to speak.
This little event used to be a well-kept secret, but not anymore.
There were literally hundreds of people visiting the cemetary
on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon, each following their paper guide.

One actress portrayed Talullah Bankhead, a native-born Alabamian,
whose father was in politics.
Her mother died when Talullah was an infant and is buried here.
There were many Civil War soldiers and widows who retold their stories,
along with many prominent men and women, such as the famous madam
who donated her land to the hospital.
Then, there was the Southern belle who ordered her bridal gown from Paris
and was taking a special powder to whiten her skin. Only her illiterate maid gave her
boric acid by mistake. She became ill and called for her doctor.
When he discovered what had happened there was nothing he could do.
Still, the young couple married, she sick and dying and lying in her bed. 
When the young bride died a few weeks later, she was buried in her exquisite bridal gown
shipped all the way from Paris, France.

The last story we heard was from a famous widow well-known in my neck of the woods.
She had been married six times before the Civil War. Her first marriage lasted almost 20 years
when her husband passed away. The second one lasted six months and each husband
subsequently succumbed to some mysterious or short-lived illness. Now, this
is quite possible, seeing that this was the early 1800's, and being a strong, Southern woman,
known for her beauty (historical accounts claim that she was a beautiful woman)
she may have been smart and opportunistic.Remember Scarlett O'Hara?
Rumor has it that she had a hat rack in her foyer with a hat from
each of her husbands hanging on it.  At age 60, the beautiful widow moved to
Mississippi, after a trial involving slander and a feud with a local farmer.
 Coincidentally, the ancestors of that farmer still own that land
and now have a popular Pumpkin Patch in the Fall. See pictures below.
Oh! Another reason the widow moved away...the local Baptist preacher refused to marry her again.
I love these stories!

I never knew there were so many varieties of pumpkins. I didn't take pictures of all of them,
but I saw at least a dozen varieties.

Beautiful Mums

Baby granddaughter #3

Hope you are enjoying Fall as much as I am.



GretchenJoanna said...

The historical tour of the cemetery is a lovely idea. It's been a while since I visited a local cemetery...maybe I will go in the fall when we all think, sometimes only unconsciously, of our own approaching death.

I'm glad you took pictures of the pumpkins you did - nowadays with all the interesting varieties people are growing, a pumpkin tour may be in order as well!

Mary said...

I love historical tidbits like this! Great post...

Janet, said...

What great stories! These are stories novels are made from.

Relyn said...

Oh, I LOVE the idea of a cemetery stroll. Cemeteries are my favorite place to read, you know.