In my home state of Tennessee, I am used to finding cemeteries nestled within huge forested lands. If the cemetery is on an expanse of farmland or atop one of our beautiful mountains, I am often lucky enough to enjoy a few miles of unobstructed visibility.
In contrast to our landscape back home, the plains of west Texas offer amazing vistas that I just don’t get to view in Tennessee. On my cemetery hunting trip across America, I found a cemetery with such a vista driving just outside the dusty Texas town of Ringgold.
Upon pulling off I-82, I expected to find a small barren piece of land with no greenery in sight. Instead, Ringgold Cemetery offered a wide expanse of green grass offset by an azure blue horizon. Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles await visitors to Ringgold Cemetery.
The grave sites are sparse yet many tombstones stand in contrast to the mostly flat land.
Nearby: Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles.
Nacona is a nice cemetery and I was surprised at the greenery.
Driving down route 82 just outside of Nacona, Texas, I passed a couple of great looking, small, dusty cemeteries with not a touch of grass around them. April winds blew sandy soil into small ripples and tombstones looked sandblasted from all the fine granular soil endlessly pelting them. One after another I passed these cemeteries vowing to stop at the next. I love these types of cemeteries.
Nacona Cemetery popped up on my GPS and I envisioned an old west cemetery similar to the ones I had already driven by. I was surprised at the greenery within the cemetery and the well manicured grass. The greenery is pleasing though I also enjoy cemeteries that allow the natural substrate to show through.
Nacona is still active and over 5200 people have been interred there. The graves are very well documented and the Nacona Cemetery website gives virtual visitors a tremendous amount of information of the burial sites. Well done.
In Texas, even Jesus wears cowboy boots.
I have many fond memories of Texas but there are several that stand out as high points. First, you can drive down some two-lane roads at 75 MPH and people in front of you will ease onto the shoulder (while maintaining their speed) to let you pass. Second, the stars at night really are big and bright. Third, even Jesus wears cowboy boots.
I pulled into Paris Texas under an early evening sun with enough daylight left for a quick tour of Evergreen Cemetery. I had heard rumors that a cowboy boot wearing Jesus statue was a must see in this sprawling and very crowded cemetery. With eyes peeled I drove row after row of graveled streets looking at the base of every monolith. Cowboy boots, much less on Jesus’ feet, were nowhere to be seen.
Dusk approached quicker than I wanted and as I turned onto a seemingly perpetually long row of tombstones I caught the glimpse of a murky blurr. Was that Jesus, in cowboy boots, running through the darkening cemetery? No, it was a bobcat. I grabbed my camera and barreled out of the car in a mad dash to attempt a perfect snapshot of this beautiful bobcat darting amongst the rows of tombstones.
In un-Ansel Adams like fashion I ran at top speed with my camera outstretched toward the bobcat. Little did he realize I was hot on his trail and able to see his furry ears pointing above a tablet-styled tombstone behind which he sought refuge. With visions of O.J. Simpson dashing through airports and hurdling piles of luggage in those late 1970’s Samsonite commercials, my feet propelled me through the air to finally land directly in front of my prey.
Somewhere, in mid-air, I took an instantaneous moment to consider the fullness of my impending predicament. Here I was, in a darkening cemetery running crazily after a frightened wild animal capable of inflicting, if nothing else, deep and infectious lacerations to my limbs and torso. Ah, too late to think of the ramifications, I steadied my index finger on my camera’s shutter release in preparations of what was sure to be an amazing photograph of a beautiful healthy bobcat in front of a southwestern tombstone with a Texas sunset in the back ground. “This is going to be great. What if I am lucky enough to capture the moment when he leaps, claws outstretched, right in front of Jesus’ cowboy boots” I thought microseconds before landing.
Unfortunately, this bobcat’s perfect portrait was not meant to be as he became alert to my whisper-less flight and bolted an instant before my flashbulb illuminated the darkened cemetery.
And with one blurry picture taken, the excitement was finished. Now my task of finding Jesus with cowboy boots and the other interesting grave markers of Evergreen Cemetery was before me.
Luckily, the Texas twilight gave me enough time to find Jesus’ cowboy boots and a few other very interesting markers. See the pictures below.