Monday, May 24, 2010

Ceremonious Like Tombs

The Official Death Poet of Roxie's World supplies the title for today's post, which is really a photo essay on the magisterial Texas State Cemetery, where both of the Parents of the Goosians now lie buried. (Goose's father, Earl W. Smith, who ended his career as a judge on the state's Third Court of Appeals, died in 2001; her mother, Mozelle Owens Smith, died last Wednesday.)

Moose is not a big fan of dying, but she loves a pretty cemetery, and this one just blocks east of the state capitol in Austin is exceptionally pretty. It is built into gently rolling hills and has a sweet little pond just perfect for capturing the reflections of the Lone Star state flags lining State Highway 165, which winds through the grounds and, at a half mile long, is the shortest state highway in Texas.

Earl and Mo are buried on Republic Hill, on the left side of the first photo below. Their near neighbors include such sheroes of Texas history as Gov. Ann Richards, whose swirling marble gravestone can be seen in the background of the photo of Earl and Mo's pink granite stone, and Rep. Barbara Jordan, who is further up the hill. Other nearby notables include Old Yeller author Fred Gipson, LBJ ally Sen. Ralph Yarborough, and the father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin. Republic Hill looks down on the Confederate Field (last photo below), where more than 2200 Confederate veterans and their spouses are buried.

As Moose remarked on Facebook, well, if you gotta go, you could do worse than to end up buried at the feet of Ann Richards, right? And is it just us, folks, or does that swirling mass of white marble not look to you like a clever homage to Richards' trademark halo of silver hair? What a fitting tribute to a gutsy feminist trail-blazer who once quipped, “I did not want my tombstone to read, ‘She kept a really clean house.’ ” We are pleased to report (third and fourth photos below) that is not what her tombstone says. Not at all. Oh, and right next to Gov. Richards is the grave of her friend and companion Edwin A. "Bud" Shrake, which is notable for its unusual inscription: So far, so bueno. No wonder Richards liked to hang out with him.

So far, so bueno. Sounds about right to us, kids. Peace out and thanks again for all the love. We send it right back to you.

(Photo Credits: Moose, on her iPhone, 5/22-23/2010, Austin, TX)

1 comment:

  1. R.I.P.

    You were SO missed last weekend.



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