Sunday, February 24, 2013

San Jose Cemetery Revisited

                                            These fragments I have shored against my ruins.

                                                           -- T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land

As desolate -- and perhaps hopeless -- as the San Jose Cemetery appears in my previous blog entry, there are also touches of the human spirit evident around the graves.

Typically, as in many cemeteries, there are flowers and an occasional American flag.  At San Jose, the flowers are plastic -- in the New Mexico climate, fresh flowers wouldn't last long.


There are also the inscriptions.  These are obviously recent:

Besides the flowers and inscriptions, there are some unusual (to me) decorations that are clearly intentional -- beer bottles, rocks, and coins.

The beer bottle on this grave (and its twin on the other side of the headstone that you can't see) is actually affixed to the concrete covering the grave.  Notice also the coins lined up along the base of the headstone, and the rocks in front.  I don't know their significance, but they appear on other graves as well.  I also love the juxtaposition of Jesus and the car.

The most unusual grave site was that of a young Hispanic man who apparently was a boxer and died at age 20.  It was set up in the form of a boxing ring:

Note there's even a bench outside the ring for sitting and contemplation.

Old torn boxing gloves were hung from the ropes, and the young man's image was somehow drawn on the "floor" of the ring:

My friend Barry got the best shot of the gloves  (notice the pennies on the "canvas"):

Photo (c) 2013 Barry Schwartz

Here's my shot of a different pair.  The writing on the glove says, "RIP Pico.  We love you Pico.  We all miss you 'Perro'.  Your nephew, Chico."

And over in the corner, there's a single boxing glove, a candle, a small wooden cross, a rock, and an unopened bottle of Corona.

Shantih   shantih   shantih

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