Time is Linear, Mr. Wrightstone.


Time is linear
Memory is a stranger
History is for fools
Man is a tool in the hands
Of the great God Almighty
– Roger Waters

It was about 70F today, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I had been spending all my attention on the Diamondback for the past two weeks, so it was time to take out the trek for a ride.

Ain't she a beauty?

I headed out for Carlisle, I think it was about a 20 mile loop. On the way back, I took a shortcut through the Mechanicsburg Cemetery. I know I’m not the only one who does this. I know I see a lot of cyclers cutting through the St. John’s Cemetery, too.

Anyways, as I was riding through the cemetery, I was thinking about how much the pathways in the cemetery resemble those on the greenbelt.


The cemetery paths sure do look like bike paths

This got me thinking about my last trip to New Orleans. While I was there, I took a tour of St. Louis Cemetery #1. The tour guide told us that back in the day, people treated cemeteries as parks. They would even have picnics in them.

I know that a lot of the Rails-to Trails people refer to their trails as “linear parks.”

While I was riding, I stopped to get some pictures of a tree whose leaves had turned a bright red. I came upon the grave of a Mr. Wrightstone. Actually, there were two Mr. Wrightstones on the grave marker. It seems that they were father and son. Sadly, Mr. Wrightstone Jr. died before his father. They were buried in an old part of the cemetery. I think Jr. was buried in 1933.

Pretty Leaves, No?

I don’t know whether there are any remaining Wrightstones who come to visit the graves of their ancestors. I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t.

Today, at least, they had a visitor.

I wonder if people might be willing to pay a bit more for a plot in a cemetery where large numbers of people are likely to happen by.

I wonder if there isn’t a better way to build cemeteries without using up lots of open land.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we built linear cemeteries?

The living get a usable park/multi-use path. The dead get a steady stream of visitors. The whole apparatus can be maintained by some wierd consortium of Churches, Funeral Directors, and Rails-Trails type organizations.

The cost of the grave plots can help offset the costs of right-of-way aquisition.

Why not?