Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Remember: Reuben Townsley

We cling to the strength of stone to fight the fear of being forgotten. So please take a moment to remember...

OCT. 30, 1891.

A precious one from us has gone,
A voice we loved is stilled;
A place is vacant in our home,
Which never can be filled.


(Hibernia Methodist Church Est. 1841, Chester County, Pennsylvania)


Scott said...

Feel free to contribute such inscriptions to my own tombstone if I go first!

Is the spider yellow? I think I found it but I only see two legs and criss-crossing webs.

(Sorry, late to the game)

JLB said...

Beautiful on all counts Jason. I love the tombstone show-and-tells. It makes me want to go and visit some of our local cemetaries, and see what I can find. :)

normiekins said...

why is it the most beautiful secular art and inscriptions can be found on a ironic.

Kelly Parra said...

Very touching and the photos lovely, Jason!

Jay said...

Yes, touching.

LiVEwiRe said...

He was 80? That was quite an accomplishment being born in 1811. Still, to his loved ones I'm sure it didn't seem nearly enough.

Terri said...

Well now that just brought a tear to my eye (yes, really) ... it's maybe a little close to home.

Anonymous said...

Scott, yes, the spider is yellow. :) I'm especially drawn to the unusual inscriptions in cemeteries.

JLB, if you go, you won't be disappointed.

Normiekins, I'm often struck by the tension between solemn and expressive in cemeteries. There's so much you could say, but usually it's distilled into a few words.

Kelly, thanks. :)

Jay, the stone is simple, yet powerful.

Livewire, that's a good point. Having such a long life in that era was no easy achievement.

Terri, I hope the tear was able to turn into a happy thought.

beadinggalinMS said...

A place is vacant in our home,
Which never can be filled.

That is so sad and yet so true when we loose a loved one.

Bev said...

I have this feeling that some day I'll open your blog and a marker of one of my ancestors will leap off the screen at me --- its a little creepy.....but it would be a fun thing too!

Loved this stone

Shesawriter said...

How can 80 years be captured in a stone? Man, this life sucks unga dunga. :-)

Marcail said...

Jason, did you visit this man's grave for some reason?

I like to read tombstones as well. There's a site for famous/infamous ones that I thought I'd bookmarked, but I didn't. I visited Jim Morrison (Montmartre) and Eva Peron (Recoleta in Buenos Aires) .

Saaleha said...

I always marvel at the power of being. How our fingerprints linger long after our bodies have gone. how we live in the minds and hearts of people whose lives we have touched. memory - a magical thing.

Bernita said...

One wonders how the all events of the years between affected him...born before 1812...

Jaye Wells said...

Do you think "Father" referred to his profession or his place in his family?

Jaye Wells said...

I love that they placed "father" first. The inscription is especially impactful with that element given the time period.

Anonymous said...

Beady, sounds like he made a fine place for himself in the world.

Bev, I'm actually waiting for that day when someone contacts me! I imagine sooner or later someone will be doing genealogical research and hit on one of these posts. I've seen google hits come here for some of these names, but no one has come forward yet.

Tanya, maybe that's why so few words are chosen. It's impossible to say enough, so one distilled thought is given.

Marcail, no, there was no particular reason for me photographing this man's grave. I visit cemeteries and look for stones which speak to me in some way. I then place them here to give their memories a little more life. Sometimes I imagine how they would've felt being remembered so many years later in this unimaginable medium.

Saaleha, and I want those fingerprints to last even longer. I'm always sorry to see old stones unreadable or destroyed. It's likely that not a soul is left who remembers them.

Bernita, so true. He passed through wars and the dawning of a new age.

Jaye, it's common for these older stones to have "father" or "mother" on them. "Son" or "daughter" is a bit less common. They do refer to families and not the clergy. Often a clergy member will have extra inscriptions, especially if the church was more affluent during the time of his/her death.

Eileen said...

Reuben. A good man. A good sandwich