Friday, February 1, 2013

A Grave Interest Celebrates Its 2nd Blog-a-versary

WOW!! Time passes so quickly!  I began this blog on February 1st, 2011 as a good reason to ‘haunt’ cemeteries ; )  But it’s grown from something fun to do, to a passion. 

Mapping Cemeteries
I can no longer go anywhere without checking to see how many cemeteries there are along the way and where they are located.  A trip to Cincinnati or St Louis takes twice as long now – there has to be stops at cemeteries, both coming and going.



St Michael & the Devil
Mausoleum
Friends now understand when I launch off on a description of the latest stunning statue, quirky name, or interesting mausoleum I’ve found.  Although they may not plan to spend their weekends in the cemetery, many have asked to 'tag along' when I'm heading out to spend the day.




I’ve connected with hundreds of cemetery people doing this. It's  amazing to realize what a large community this is!  I love the fact that this is such an accepting group of people. Cemetery lovers are very willing to share their knowledge.  Or to say, “I don’t know a thing about that.  Can anyone tell me more?”

Over the past two years, I’ve written almost 150 blog posts.  I am appreciative to the over 10,000 people who read these posts each month. Readers are from as far away as India, Russia, and Slovenia, to those in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.


The Grave of Mr Accordion
Grave of a Pet
A Grave Interest has given me a reason to research and write about subjects I’m really fascinated with!  Within the past year, I’ve been able to delve into the lives of poets and musicians, to explore slices of history, to learn more about grave markers, symbols, the cost of dying, superstitions and legends, even pets in the cemetery.

Although it's AGI's 2nd anniversary, my husband is still shocked that I can continually come up with ideas for more blogs.  (When I started, he wasn’t sure I would find enough to blog about for a year…. ; )  But the cemeteries offer up so many ideas and opportunities for subjects to explore.  And you, the reader, propose ideas with your questions, and offer wonderful suggestions. (I’m already filling the 2014 calendar with ideas….)



Hidden Graves
One of the most popular posts for the past year dealt with Central State Hospital, better known as the Indiana Insane Asylum and the adjacent cemetery http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com/2012/10/central-state-hosptial-indiana-insane.html.  The hospital buildings are now abandoned and the cemetery lay in disrepair, a sad testament to those who passed through those doors.



Digging a Grave By Hand
Another well-liked post was about the High Cost of Dying http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com/2012/03/high-cost-of-dying-traditional-funeral.html.  An average funeral in the US runs about $8,000, and that does not include the cemetery costs and other 'incidentals'.  As my grandfather used to say, "Death is not for the faint-of heart".


The Big Bopper
Buddy Holly
And the most popular post for the past year - The Day the Music Died http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com/2012/02/day-music-died.html. This post took a look back at the plane crash that killed three men who have been called the most promising stars of rock and roll -  J.P. Richardson – the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly.


Gothic Mausoleum
Skull & Crossbones on Stone
And, of course, the October haunted cemeteries series are always “frightfully fun”!  I love doing these!  This past year, I went to Chicago’s Resurrection Cemetery, the Indianapolis Insane Asylum cemetery, Spring Grove in Cincinnati, and Greenwood Cemetery in Decatur, searching for special haunts.


Facebook Cemetery Groups
I have found that it doesn’t matter how you become involved in the cemetery community, whether you’re a photographer, a tombstone tourist, a genealogist, a writer, a sexton, or a blogger, you will discover that there are Facebook groups, blogs, and web sites where you can share photos, ideas, and insights.  One reason I believe this community is so approachable is an understanding that, “We all have a deep respect for the past, and, let's face it, we all know where it’s gonna end…”


So, as I begin another year, I'd like to thank you for your kind suggestions, words, and deeds in helping make A Grave Interest so much fun, and so successful!  And also for following on Blogger, http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com and Twitter, https://twitter.com/aGraveInterest and “Liking” on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Grave-Interest.

Now, let’s cut that cemetery cake and get ready for A Grave Interest year!!


~ Joy