Binkley-Ridge Cemetery, Ohio

Mr. & Mrs. Binkley

Nancy & David Binkley

For whatever reason, I often find myself wandering around old cemeteries. Part of this is surely the natural beauty abounding in older cemeteries—parklike, with an abundance of trees and often plantings left alone by decades of caretakers, there’s something soothing about them. Of course, they’re graveyards of any sort are a reminder that death is never far from any of us, though having narrowly escaped it four times already, I’m very much aware of the fact that mine could end without warning. It certainly keeps one humble, but also considerate of each day’s fleeting value. Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!

Heavenly Gates

That aside, of course, again: Older cemeteries are lovely places, and the age of the graves—the distance separating we the living from the dead whose graves we see—gives rise to a real sense of wonderment about the lives represented by each headstone, about the history seen by these people. Not only are they great places to think, they encourage thinking by their very nature—history, death, life, beauty, calm. Modern-day cemeteries tend to be sterile places without even a place to rest—a vast, sterile expanse of markers and death with no beauty or natural shelter to remind us of life, deliciously bittersweet life enjoyed by the dead as well as ourselves—but the older sort have much to recommend themselves.

Leaning In

Though knocked from their moorings, these headstones have been carefully leaned upon a tree at the graveyard’s edge.

Today I’m sharing with you photos from such a cemetery—Binkley-Ridge Cemetery, or just Ridge Cemetery (I’m not quite certain, two names continue popping up). It and its inhabitants rest on a hillock in Perry County here in Central Ohio, surrounded mostly by woods with a scattering of small homes. Of course I take photos in the cemeteries; they’re beautiful, yes, but as anyone who frequents them knows, time is wiping away the information about those inside. These are fellow-travellers, though we’ve never met them; it seems important to me to preserve this information, especially as one never knows who will be thrilled to find information about an ancestor online!

Though no one has been buried here in some decades, it is still well-maintained—and there’s even a mystery monument I hope someone can help me understand.
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September 11

Here in the States, we are today remembering those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001—and now, sadly, the lives of those lost on September 11, 2012. It is difficult to believe that the four brave men who died in Benghazi were killed only a year ago—it seems like so much longer, for some reason, though I’m sure to their circle of loved ones, as well as to those who lost loved ones in 2001, the pain remains raw and fresh. What that’s like, I cannot imagine, and dearly pray and hope none of us ever find ourselves mourning someone killed so barbarically.



You’ll understand, I’m sure, that a post about movies (or anything else, really) seems terribly inappropriate in the face of such evil,  and more importantly, considering the pain of those who lost someone.

We must always truly remember what happened; I hope that explains my choice of images. We mustn’t forget, for the sake of the murdered.

May God comfort those who lost loved ones in these horrifying attacks, and may those who murder ever be brought to justice.

Patty Andrews, RIP

Patty Andrews, the last living member of the famous Andrews Sisters trio, passed away today at the age of 94. The songstress died of natural causes.

Patty was the lead singer, and I have to say her animated expressions never failed to draw my attention! The girls (actual sisters, born in Minneapolis) were the daughters of a Greek father and Norwegian mother, both immigrants to the US. It seems so fitting that their very talented daughters would go on to provide so much to so many men in uniform as they served the nation overseas.
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Monday not-really-an-escape

Usually on Mondays, I share a photo of mine that I hope gives you a little bit of a break from the least-favourite day of the week: something beautiful, remarkable, funny. But today is a special day, so instead of an escape, I hope this provides you with encouragement and wisdom—a reminder of a man who lived, who was brave and courageous, who sought to bring people together instead of dividing them, instead of creating suspicion.

Also, I’m willing to bet these are the best and most honest speeches you’ll hear all week.

From “A Knock At Midnight“—you really ought to just click over and read the whole thing, as it is a superb sermon:

Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him”?

Luke 11:5-6, RSV

Although this parable is concerned with the power of persistent prayer, it may also serve as a basis for our thought concerning many contemporary problems and the role of the church in grappling with them. It is midnight in the parable; it is also midnight in our world, and the darkness is so deep that we can hardly see which way to turn. Continue reading

Andy Williams, 1927-2012

The world has lost a great voice—Andy Williams passed away last night at the age of 84. Just last November, Mr. Williams told his fans that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, but was clearly very optimistic, as he expected to return to performing this year, assuredly in time for his famed Christmas show. Alas—it was not to be.

If you’ve heard Andy sing in the past few years, you know he’s barely missed a note; the man’s famously gorgeous, rich, resonant voice sounded just as beautiful as it always had. Best of all, it was so easy to hear that Williams truly loved singing—no matter the mood of the song, he was incapable of concealing the great joy he had in exercising his gift.

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September 11

 Ten Years

Let us never forget.

Let us never forget the horror, the stunned feeling, the tears each of us wept for the lost and bereaved.

But also, let us never forget the heroes. Let us never forget the men who raced upward toward what must have seemed the very gates of hell. Let us never forget those who stormed the cockpit of Flight 93 over Pennsylvania. Some were murdered this day; others counted their lives as nothing, gallantly tossing their own aside as they charged up the stairs, into the fires. They did so that others might live—that others might escape the Towers, that an unknown target might not suffer as did New York and the Pentagon.

Thanks to the fire of such as these, the greatest of men, we will always find reason to hope.

May God bless those heroes and their families, and may God bless America.

TCM Remembers: Griffith, Borgnine, and Holm

I suppose it might seem odd that a photographer is keeping her readers updated on goings-on in the world of classic Hollywood. Then again, if you take a look at my work, all of the classic cars, neon signs and theatre marquees, and general photos of Americana and fun American kitsch, it’s easy to see that I have a deep affection for all things older than I am. Indeed, it’s probably likely that I was born many years too late. Included in this affinity for older things is an equally deep affection for movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age, and, of course, that era’s actors as a result.

Therefore, I like to share that predilection with you, dear reader! Continue reading