Archive for the ‘epithets’ Tag

07/27/2022 “Grave Moments”   Leave a comment

In my younger days I spent a great deal of time in the oldest graveyards in southern Massachusetts. I did gravestone rubbings, sketches, and even a number of oil paintings. I even stretched t-shirts over gravestones, did rubbings, and sold them through a local gift shop. I had many requests from families for shirts with their family name or their favorite epithets. It seems everyone is either fascinated by graveyards or afraid of them. I’ve always loved them because of the absolute quietness. I spent many an hour curled up with a good book, under a tree, in my favorite graveyard.

Here are a few unusual and catchy tombstone epithets for your entertainment.

  • M.S. Donald Robertson, died 4 June 1848, age 63. “He was a peaceable man, and, to all appearance a sincere Christian. His death was much regretted – which was caused by the stupidity of Lawrence Tulloch of Clotherton who sold him nitre instead of Epsom salts by which he was killed in the space of three hours after taking a dose of it.” Cross Kirk, Shetland, England
  • “Sacred for the memory of Anthony Drake, who died for peace and quietness sake. His wife was constantly scolding and scoffin’, so he sought for repose in a twelve-dollar coffin.” Burlington, Massachusetts
  • “Sacred to the memory of Elisha Philbrook and his wife Sarah, beneath these stones do lie. Back-to-back, my wife and I. When the last trumpet the air shall fill, if she gets up, I’ll just lie still.” Sargentville, Maine
  • “Beneath this stone, a lump of clay lies Arabella Young, who on the 21st of May began to hold her tongue.” Hatfield, Massachusetts
  • Sacred to the memory of Jared Bates who died August the 6th, 1800. His widow, aged 24, lives at 7 Elm Street, has every qualification for a good wife, and yearns to be comforted.” Lincoln, Maine
  • “Fear God, keep the commandments, and don’t attempt to climb a tree, for that’s what caused the death of me.” Eastwell, Kent, England
  • “Here lies I, Jonathan Fry. killed by a skyrocket in my eye socket.” Frodsham, Cheshire, England

IT SEEMS A SENSE OF HUMOR LAST FOREVER

R.I.P.

03/14/2022 “Epithets”   2 comments

For many years after moving to New England, I spent a great deal of time in dozens of local cemeteries in southern Maine, checking out epithets, and anything else interesting that I could find. There was a time when I would stretch T-shirts over old tombstones and do rubbings of family names and places which I then sold in a local gift shop. Business became so brisk I was able to take requests from certain families to memorialize their long dead relatives. It was a little weird at times but very interesting. I also got to meet a few of the local law enforcement officers who repeatedly stopped to check me out. The epithets were remarkable since most of the early deaths were colonists from England, the home of the limerick. What follows are not the ones I discovered back then but discoveries made by other morbid folks who were also fascinated by them. Here are a few priceless ones I think you might enjoy.

Sacred to the memory of Anthony Drake,

Who died for peace and quietness’ sake.

His wife was constantly scolding and scoffin’,

So, he sought for repose in a twelve-dollar coffin.

Burlington Massachusetts

🎇🎇🎇

Here lies Ann Mann;

She lived an old maid and

She died an old Mann.

Bath Abbey, England

🎇🎇🎇

Sacred to the memory of

Elisha Philbrook and his wife Sarah

Beneath these stones do lie,

Back-to-back, my wife and I!

When the last trumpet the air shall fill,

If she gets up, I’ll just lie still.

Sargentville, Maine

🎇🎇🎇

Sacred to the memory of

Jared Bates

who died August 6, 1800.

His widow, age 24, lives at 7 Elm

Street, has every qualification for a

good wife and yearns to be comforted.

Lincoln, Maine

🎇🎇🎇

THINK UP A GOOD ONE FOR YOURSELF

AND LEAVE IT WITH A FRIEND

10/09/2021 Famous Last Words – Part I   Leave a comment

As a person ages and begins to deal with their own mortality they sometimes think about the final moments of their life. I’ve observed that death can also be a final moment of embarrassment for some. People who are celebrities of a sort must think that their final words may be released to the public and repeated forever. The last thing you want people to think is that you were frightened or stupid at the end. Unfortunately many times these final words do seem stupid, some humorous, and others make no sense at all. This collection of final words has been in my files for years and has always made me think a little and occasionally smile a lot. What will I say at the end? I’m not a famous person so it will only mean something to me and possibly the last person I talked to. No one else will care.

Let’s now take a few minutes and review some of these last utterances of some allegedly famous people:

“I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away. Peace, Love, Empathy. Kurt Cobain.” Kurt Cobain (in his suicide note). Lead singer for American grunge band Nirvana, referencing a song by Neil Young.

“In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you’re going to see another first – attempted suicide.” 30-year-old anchorwoman Christine Chubbuck, who, on July 15, 1974, during technical difficulties during a broadcast, said these words on-air before producing a revolver and shooting yourself in the head. She was pronounced dead in the hospital 14 hours later.

“It’s very beautiful over there.” Thomas Edison

Now why did I do that?” Gen. William Erskine, after he jumped from a window in Lisbon, Portugal in 1813.

“Don’t worry, relax.” Rajiv Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister, told his security staff minutes before being killed by a suicide bomber attack.

“Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” George Bernard Shaw

“I’m losing.” Frank Sinatra

“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” Oscar Wilde

“I’m tired of fighting.” Harry Houdini

“I see black light.” Victor Hugo

“LSD, 100 micrograms I. M.” Aldus Huxley to his wife. She obliged and he was injected twice before his death.

“I’m bored with it all.” Winston Churchill, before slipping into a coma and dying nine days later.

“Dear World, I am leaving you because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool – good luck.” (suicide note) George Sanders, actor

“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” Gen. John Sedgwick, Union commander in the US Civil War, who was hit by a sniper fire a few minutes after saying it.

After reading these final words I know I can do better. I just hope I have the opportunity to say something meaningful or humorous before I go. Not to be too morbid but you should really take some time to think about and write your own epitaph. Stand by for Part II of Famous Last Words . . . coming soon.

P.S. Here’s what I’ve decided should be my last words: “veni, vedi, cessi”. If Latin was good enough for Julius Caesar, it’s good enough for me. It translates to, “I came, I saw, I left”

WHAT WILL YOUR’S BE?

12-17-2013 A Little Holiday Tombstone Humor   Leave a comment

It’s Tuesday and we have seven shopping days left until Christmas.  Are you stressed, pissed, and have you completely lost your sense of humor?   Well, welcome to the club.  Since Christmas has both the ability to excite and depress me I think a little darkness is necessary which fits right in with my current mindset. I’ve collected tombstone epithets for years and even took to the graveyards of Massachusetts while living there and made gravestone rubbings of some of the more interesting. They are at times poignant, heartfelt, funny,  and even sarcastic.  They do tend to get right to the point about the dearly departed who would be spinning in their graves if they ever read them.   I hope they make you smile like they do for me.

  • Here lies Lester Moore, four slugs from a 44, no Les, No More. Tombstone, Arizona
  • Of children in all she bore twenty-four: Thank the Lord there will be no more.  Canterbury, Kent, England
  • Here lies the body of John Mound, Lost at Sea and never found. Winslow, Maine
  • Here lies I, Jonathan Fry. Killed by a sky-rocket in my eye socket.  Frodsham, Cheshire, England
  • Here lies John Ross, Kicked by a horse.  Channel Islands, England
  • Here lies Jane Smith, wife of Thomas Smith, marble cutter. This monument was erected by her husband as a tribute to her memory and a specimen of his work. Monuments of the same style 350 dollars. Springdale, Ohio
  • Neglected by his doctor, ill treated by his nurse, his brother robbed the widow, which made it all the worse. Dulverton, Somerset, England
  • Stranger approach this spot with gravity; John Brown is filling his last cavity.  A Dentist
  • Beneath this stone old Abraham lies; Nobody laughs and nobody cries. Where he is gone and how he fares, Nobody knows and nobody cares.  For Abraham Newland
  • Beneath these stones repose the bones of Theodosius Grim; He took his beer from year to year, and then the beer took him.  A Beer Drinker
  • Here lies the body of our Anna, Done to death by a banana. It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low, but the skin of the thing that made her go.  Enosburg, Vermont
  • Grim Death took me without any warning, I was well at night and dead in the morning.  Sevenoaks, Kent, England

I looked up a few others in my archive since I know you all love your celebrities.  Some are cute, some lame,  but who really cares?

  • My Jesus, mercy” Al Capone
  • “The best is yet to come.”  Frank Sinatra
  • “This is the last of Earth! I am content!”  John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848)
  • “Truth and History. 21 Men. The Boy Bandit King. He Died As He Lived. William H. Bonney ‘Billy the Kid'”  Billy the Kid (unknown)
  • “That’s all, folks!” Mel Blanc (the epitaph is the trademark line of cartoon character Porky Pig.
  • “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”  Winston Churchill
  • “She did it the hard way”  Bette Davis
  • “Nothing’s So Sacred As Honor And Nothing’s So Loyal As Love”  Wyatt Earp
  • “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world”  Robert Frost
  • “Hey Ram” (Translated “Oh, God”)  Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty I’m Free At Last.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Workers of all lands unite. The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”  Karl Marx
  • “Truth to your own spirit”  Jim Morrison

GET SOME REST, ONLY SEVEN SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

%d bloggers like this: