Remember way back when I said I would soon post about “possibly the coolest headstone ever?“* Well, five days later here it is!
I found it in the Mt. View Cemetery here in Ashland. Coming from Washington, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a grave marker made of wood. (It makes sense. Given the rain there, those markers would be nothing but lumps of moss after a few years.) Yet, this particular marker I’m writing about is only one of four I’ve seen at the three cemeteries around here.
Since I have never seen a wooden marker, it still amazes me — partly because it’s unfamiliar, but also because it seems so temporary. Of course, this one is topped with a copper covering. The metal cap must protect the end of the wood from rain and snow. Maybe in this climate it will last for years.
The third image above is a close-up of the brass plate on the front. It has an inscription that reads:
Irving Tracy Lord
I asked no other thing,
No other was denied.
I offered Being for it;
The mighty merchant smiled.
Brazil? He twirled a button,
Without a glance my way:
“But, madam, is there nothing else
That we can show today?”
Though it’s not credited on the marker, the poem was written by Emily Dickinson, and is titled I Asked No Other Thing.
One curious thing is that Irving Lord died in 2001 — not that long ago. For some reason, that seems too recent for a grave marker to be made of wood. Obviously I’m stereotyping grave marker materials. Shame on me!
Do you know any of the history behind Irving Tracy Lord and his headstone**?
** The term “headstone” seems misleading. Should it be “headwood?” That sound vaguely pornographic. What about “headcopper?” Um, kinda clunky. May I suggest we agree that “headstone” encompasses a broader definition that accepts grave markers of all denominations or materials!