Friday, January 26, 2007

Guess where I spent my afternoon?

I went to a cemetery today. The good news is no one I know has died. I had time to do some picture taking and had wanted to check out an old cemetery I've driven by a number of times. It is an old Jewish cemetery out in the western suburbs of Chicago. Just from the road I could tell it had a lot of history attached to it. It felt a little strange taking pictures there but I was mindful of being respectful of the graves and the people interred there.
A lot of old cemeteries are endangered species but this one is better kept up than I expected. Nonetheless it was quite poignant to see the graves of people long gone and unfortunately probably long forgotten. Many of the graves dated back to the early 20th century. I also learned of a custom I was unaware of which is putting copies of a person's portrait on the grave. The pictures are somehow adhered to porcelain so many survived the past 80-90 years relatively intact.
I'm not sure what I intend to do with the photos I took but I'll post two here.
Gravestone
Portrait
In memory of Bella Mogal. Where did you come from and what was your life like? Are you survived by family who keep your memory alive?

5 comments:

meeyauw said...

The photos are amazingly clear after all these decades. It is so poignant. Sad. I wonder where the photo custom comes from: it is not here in New England that I know of.

angela said...

Cemetries are fascinating places. In the one where my father is buried there's a Chinese section that's beautiful and moving.
Here it's common to see photos on the headstones but the children would break your heart...
Angela

sarala said...

The cemetery was created for Jewish immigrants (largely from Europe) so maybe the photo custom is European as Angela sees it in France.
I agree about the children's photos. I saw a number of those.

Lux said...

How very touching! Mom says here a lot of the cemeteries have shrines on them.

mis_nomer said...

Wow. What a well-preserved photo. The slight frown in her brow makes her look beautiful in haunting sorta way. She lived a long life.