Roadside Crosses in Contemporary Memorial Culture by Holly Everett

By Holly Everett

A fifteen-year-old highschool cheerleader is killed whereas riding on a deadly curve one afternoon. by means of that evening, her classmates have erected a roadside pass embellished with silk blooms, now not as a grim caution, yet as a loving memorial.

In this learn of roadside crosses, the 1st of its variety, Holly Everett offers the background of those specified commemoratives and their courting to modern memorial tradition. The which means of those markers is gifted within the phrases of grieving mom and dad, highschool scholars, public officers, and personal contributors whom the writer interviewed in the course of her fieldwork in Texas.

Everett files over thirty-five memorial websites with twenty-five photos representing the big variety of creativity. interpreting the advanced interaction of politics, tradition, and trust, she emphasizes the significance of spiritual expression in daily life and analyzes responses to demise that this practice. Roadside crosses are a gathering position for verbal exchange, remembrance, and mirrored image, embodying on-going relationships among the dwelling and the lifeless. they seem to be a bridge among own and communal pain—and one of many oldest different types of memorial culture.

Scholars in folklore, American experiences, cultural geography, cultural/social background, and fabric tradition reports could be specifically attracted to this study.

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The cross carried extremely negative associations, then, not only for Christians, but for Jews and other groups alike who had suffered under Roman rule (Henry 1925, 23; Rees 1992, 69). 3 The crucifix, a cross with the figure of Christ upon it, entered into regular use in the eighth century (Firth 1973, 48). The beginning of the cross’s acceptance as a religious symbol may be found in the writings of Saint Paul to the Galatians (Henry 1925, 23-24). Paul rejected the world as he felt Christians were then rejected by Roman society, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal.

Oftentimes their daily drive takes them past at least one roadside memorial. Between April 1997 and January 1998, I documented thirty-five memorial sites in and around Austin (Fig. 1). A number of these memorials have already been dismantled or significantly altered while new ones have been constructed. As noted in the previous chapter, MADD markers, such as the crosses pictured here, have until very recently been the only roadside memorials approved for the Austin district by the Texas Department of Transportation.

The same green letters indicate her middle and last initials on the bottom half of the vertical. A holiday wreath, ornamented by pine cones, holly, miniature musical instruments, and presents, Fig. 11 Memorial for Heather Werchan on Slaughter Lane, including rose bush and large cross 56 • CHAPTER THREE encircles the “N”, for Nicole. The “W” is entirely obscured from view by silk poinsettias in a terra-cotta pot, flanked on one side by an empty flower vase and on the other by red and white silk roses stuck in the ground.

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