Lively Oakland Cemetery, October 2, 2011
Sunday was the 32nd Annual Oakland Cemetery Day and was just a fine day to get out in the nice weather and appreciate all the history it has to offer.
Atlanta was first named Terminus because of the railroad crossings. Next it was named Marthasville after Martha Lumpkin, daughter of Governor Wilson Lumpkin, who is buried here.
Another Oakland resident is Franklin Garrett, the official historian of Atlanta. Strangely, he wasn’t born in Atlanta but in Milwaukee, moving here with his family when he was young where he took an academic interest in its history. Once I called the Atlanta History Center to ask about a CSA troop movement I was researching and was connected to Mr. Garrett. I knew his name and was somewhat surprised I got hooked to such a well known historian. I asked him my question, and he said just a moment. I heard him put down the phone, a door squeaked open and noises on a staircase. In minutes he came back and told me what I needed to know. Then I asked him another question and he said just a moment and again I heard the doors squeak and the clomping of someone climbing the stairs. In minutes he came back slightly out of breath with the answer. I asked him another question and he said, still breathing heavily, “Are you going to have any more questions after this?”
The following momuments and people are what make Oakland Oakland.
We happened to walk by this “in memory marker” just when a docent was telling the group its history. Mr. and Mrs. Neal had seven children. Initially from Atlanta, they moved away but several of their children died. Shortly after their return to Atlanta, their last daughter died. Mrs. Neal went into a deep depression and died a year later. Her husband had this statue erected in their memory.
The next few pictures are Confederate Soldiers’ area.
Below is the Varsity food vendor truck offering food at the event. We were ready for a lunch, so I went to scout out what was available. As I was walking I was reading the menu and suddenly I took a step in mid–air, then hitting the ground with a hard impact. I did not see the brick rain gully next to the cemetery street. My knee and leg were skinned to a bloody mess and it hurt! Our choice was Varsity dogs to eat, using Coke to clean the blood off. A lady came over to offer polysporin. It’s amazing the kindness of strangers in times of need. When we finished eating we hobbled down the street to the EMT truck who saw our situation and were preparing to come to our aid.
I noticed through the day the leg did not bother me so much when I was walking and getting circulation, but when I stopped and then moved after being immobile for a while, it hurt like hell! Now, over 24 hours later, it is still painful when I bend the leg or put all my weight on it. I think it is getting some better and maybe I’ll live.
This is not a real statue. Watch him long enough and he will move to another classic pose. See the video.
There were musician groups here and there around the cemetery playing music to suit the mood of the dead or to put some life in such a deadly place. The musicians really made the atmosphere very enjoyable.
I don’t think climbing all over the memorial for the Unknown Confederate Dead, as this guy is doing, is the most respectable act, but he did it anyway.
A lot of people wore costumes dressed from various periods, i.e., Civil War days and Victorian, turn of the Century and even a touch of Halloween. When I got this group to smile for my video, they all had vampire fangs, which I guess fits in the cemetery theme. Vampires seem to be everywhere lately. What a deal!
There was an exhibit of classic cars, which seem to appear at most every event or fair like atmosphere. Here they seem to have a “Driving Miss Daisy” touch to the season.
Oakland, rest in peace until next year.