Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Mortality - Slavia Cemetery

Leslie and Hazel Sagdahl
Slavia Cemetery is located on the corner of Church Street and West Chapman Road, due east of the intersection of West Chapman and 426 in Seminole County. This cemetery is about five miles NNW from Drawdy Rouse Cemetery in Orange County. According to what little I can find on the Internet the Slavia Cemetery is the largest remaining visible public indicator of Slavia, Florida. Slavia was first formed in the early 20th century, then became dissolved by the 1930s and slowly dissipated over the following decades until it was essentially abandoned by the mid 20th century. Because of its proximity to Oviedo Florida and the growth of UCF to the south urban sprawl had begun to encroach heavily into the area. Based on what I've read I need to go back and take my own photographs of what little of Slavia is left.

Slavia Cemetery appears to be in much better shape than Drawdy Rouse to the south. While I was there a family came to pay their respects at one of the grave sites. I gave them a wide berth as I walked and photographed.
Welcome - Joseph and Muriel Wrobel
Ryan William Thompson
I don't know who Ryan William Thompson was, but he had the simplest marker of all in the cemetery. When I first arrived at this small cross, the artificial flowers you see were simply tossed off to the side. I have no idea who might have done that or why, but I felt compelled to put them back into the two empty flower holders that flanked the cross.
Grandma Schlie
I still have fond memories of my grandmother on my father's side, and the trips she made to our house and the trips we took to visit her in Savannah. I still remember the magical trips we made to the local Woolworths five-and-dime, shopping for little treasures. She passed long ago and is buried in Bonaventure. Someone else lost a grandmother, and I think she must have been really loved.
Kissing the Rose
Untitled
Towards the back of the cemetery I came across a small marker that was surrounded by little grave decorations and overgrown with lantana. The lantana was probably placed near the gravestone in a pot, but it's long since overgrown the pot and now the grave. I probably should have poked in a bit and read who was buried there, but for some reason I didn't feel like disturbing the area. Instead I took these few photographs before heading on. If I go back tomorrow to look for the Slavia buildings, I'll stop by and at least see who's there, if not spend a few additional moments cleaning out around the marker.
John "Kit" Johnson
Angels to watch over you carefully
I see all those who have passed on and wonder what lifelines they wove in the communities they once lived in. There's an individual history for each and every resident. I once read a science fiction story about a group that tried to capture every individual person's life history inside a computer so that they could better predict the future of the human race. No, it's nothing that Asimov wrote. Perhaps it'll come to me later. But I wonder if I shouldn't start a personal register of all these graveyards, and document every resident with a photograph. Then I could offer it as a "database" for the living to search, especially those looking for ancestors.

Technical

I used the Olympus E-1 with the ZD 50mm macro and the Olympus E-PL2 with the Leica 25mm. Post processing was done in Lightroom 4.1. I'll tell you that the E-PL2 photos were post processed with Aged Photo and they're the first three photos. The rest were taken with the E-1 and post processed a bit less heavily.

Using the Leica 25mm wide open has motivated me to resurrect the E-1 with the 50mm. While the 50mm may be a full stop slower wide open, it's twice the focal length such that it it provides the same short depth of field effect. It's interesting that I've gone to using nothing but fast primes at base ISO on both cameras. My love for zooms has been considerably dampened, although I'm sure it will come back over time. I got a lot of good work out of the ZD 12-60mm and 50-200mm.

Link: http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/fl/slavia.html

1 comment:

  1. Bill, this was a very nice, personal blog post that I really related to. I was touched that you would put the flowers back into their holder. I was touched by your rememberance of your Grandma. And I really liked the shot of the reflection of the little US Flag in the polished headstone. Nicely done. Thank you!

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