Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: A blog about a graveyard frog.....

How many of you examined my previous post carefully enough to catch a glimpse of the frog in the background? As I was marveling over the white bronze markers at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia (see previous blog), off in the distance I thought I saw a frog... but then I told myself that it was not possible. That no way, at this historic rural cemetery was there a frog amongst the monuments. So I scampered up the hill even further until I arrived upon this frog. Really. A frog.

I wish I could identify who the frog memorializes. I wish I could explain what the frog means. But all I can do is tell you the frog stood about 3 feet high, it was holding an American flag (a patriotic frog, apparently), and on it's stand were two photographs. The top one was a picture of the Beatles. On top of the photo was a candle, and 2 coins; one foreign and one a US penny.

Upon examining the back of the monument, there was a beer can jammed into the back open portion of the frog. He was aged, but not markedly so. Around the base of the frog were small stones/pebbles. The frog looked up, towards the sky.

If I were to pull out my trusty cemetery symbolism book, it would tell me that frogs are a symbol of armageddon. But somehow, that doesn't seem right! :-) This frog means a lot more then a cemetery symbolism book can tell us. This frog, in a cemetery with 18,000 Confederate Civil War dead, with US Presidents, and amazing monuments with symbols that tell us what whole communities valued, in a city that has an avenue of monuments to honor its heros, means more to someone then any of those things combined. It's not as simple as what a cemetery symbolism book can tell us. Maybe it's not for us to know.

But on a bright sunny summer day in Richmond, the frog caught my eye, and for a moment, I honored that frog and all it may symbolize.

1 comment:

  1. Really cool blog you have going here. I get so jealous being limited to mostly Bay Area stuff for the moment. Seems like other than the missions in SF there is nothing here any earlier than around 1850's. But still plenty of interesting architecture and history to be found...happy hunting...