Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mortality - Drawdy Rouse Cemetery

Paul W Rouse
Ervin Dan Rouse
Joseph Clark Drawdy
I stopped by Rouse Cemetery on the way home, a small modest cemetery that has residents born over 100 years ago (see Paul W. Rouse above, who was born in 1906). The cemetery is located at the north end of Rouse Road, right before it turns due east and becomes McCulloch Road. It's surrounded by heavy woods and has a simple chain-link gate at the front. When I arrived around 5:30 this afternoon it was still open. I assume it's locked up during the night and is reopened in the morning.

Based on what little I've been able to discover via Google, the Rouse Cemetery is also referred to as the Drawdy Rouse Cemetery. I'm assuming that this cemetery was started long ago when this section of Orange was heavily rural, far more than it is today. All that's left are bits and pieces of the old forest, such as the section that surrounds this cemetery from where Corporate Blvd dead-ends into Rouse and north up Rouse until Rouse ends at McCulloch Road. I've started an informal inquiry to find who is in charge of the cemetery, to discover more of its history.
Family of Four
As I slowly walked about amongst the graves I came across little stories told by the names on the tombstones and the objects left around each grave. This grave looked to contain the remains of a family of four, both parents and at least two children. It was a long tombstone, but what was striking were all the toy cars (they looked like Hotwheels, but I let them alone) that were lined up along the base of the monument. I don't know the story behind this death, and I'm not so sure I could bear to hear it.
Grandma, Teacher
Faith Bless Love
While no one wants to see loved ones die, the loss of children is the hardest of all. Every time I see hints and traces of the loss of small ones I count my blessings and think about my children that have now reached their 20s.
Watching
According to what limited information I can find about Drawdy Rouse, it's supposed to be haunted. While I was there, the lone living inhabitant in a very quiet and peaceful cemetery, I never felt it was "haunted." It was a cloudy afternoon (a large rainstorm had passed through the area several hours before), leaving a Romantic light that seemed to coat everything with a beautiful luminous touch. I came away not afraid, but a bit saddened, certainly curious, but better for having taken a moment to slow down and pay my respects.

I will probably go back, and I am going to look in on as many local cemeteries as I possibly can. Out ancestors, immediate and remote, should not be forgotten.

Technical

I used an Olympus E-1 with a Zuiko Digital 1:2/50mm macro lens and an Olympus E-PL2 with the Leica 1:1.4/25mm lens. I'll let you figure out which one was which. Post processing done in Lighroom 4.1.

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