Live Oak Cemetery, Selma, AL

I have a fascination with cemeteries and tend to stop if I am out traveling and see one with some character.  It’s funny because Paycheck and I plan to be cremated, so the idea of a plot of space ours forever, guarded by a slowly weathering stone holds no appeal. But seeing the results of other people who decided to go that route will pause a road trip like nothing else.

A cemetery is a stand-alone gathering of graves.  A graveyard is attached to a church.

Southern cemeteries have their own auras, they are gothic in a way cemeteries in other places never can be.  The sweep of the huge oak limbs and the curtains of Spanish moss (which is neither Spanish nor moss) lend an ambiance that makes it easy to see why people decided holes in the ground was the way to go…after going.  Add in some fancy stones and of course, statutes, and that there is the makings of some creepy beauty.  Whole plots have been constructed around such things.


I have been to Bonaventure in Savannah-it’s an actual requirement for cemetery fans. That and the crypts in New Orleans, which are still on my to-do list.  Better get cracking on that one, now that I think about it.  Louisiana is losing an area the size of a football field every hour  or, just  over 16 and a half square miles a year, to global warming.

While Bonaventure does not disappoint, I have discovered I like smaller, better.  I did not particularly like the Grand Canyon but could have spent days at the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest nearby.  I like being able to take it all in before I can feel like I have experienced being in a place.

The Live Oak Cemetery in Selma is small enough to enjoy in a couple of hours of strolling around and be done.


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