Monday, September 21, 2015

The Entrance to Halloween Country


It's almost autumn -- and autumn is Halloween Country.  Which makes it my time of year.

So it's appropriate that I spent part of Saturday at the grand opening of a new entrance to Laurel Hill Cemetery, here in Philadelphia.

Laurel Hill is a grand Victorian necropolis thronged with mourning marble angels on pillars and granite vaults with stained glass windows. Before the age of motorcars, Philadelphians used to pack picnic lunches and take a boat up the river so they could share a Sunday afternoon with their departed loved ones. Not many people take picnic lunches there anymore, but the cemetery puts on tours and events and even an annual Gravediggers' Ball. They actively encourage people to take advantage of this cultural and architectural gem. People put it to a variety of positive purposes.

Many of the leaves and all the graves of my photostream book October Leaves were photographed there.

The new entrance to the cemetery opens onto Kelly Drive (the old West River Drive) so that now it can now be accessed from the Schuylkill, thus providing a link not only to the river but to the cemetery's past.

In addition to speeches, etc., there was a performance by Invisible River, which began with dancers in black mourning clothes arriving by paddle board (rather amateurish pix of them above left and below), and aerialists dancing high in the trees. Which, frankly, I found wonderful.

When the ritual blessing of the new entryway was over, everybody flowed up the new steps and into the cemetery. Summer was almost over and Halloween Season about to begin.

You can view October Leaves here. Or even buy it as a Dragonstairs Press Blurb book here.

And don't forget . . .

Tonight is my final reading and signing for Chasing the Phoenix.  I'm hoping for a good turnout, because it's always depressing when that doesn't happen. So invite your friends and family. It's free!


Penn Bookstore
September 21 at 6:00 p.m.
3601 Walnut Street, Philadelphia


1 comment:

Kevin Cheek said...

Your title brings to mind Bradbury's The October Country and The Halloween Tree. Reading your photobook, the references are entirely appropriate. Thank you for sharing it with us!