Category Archives: Odds and Ends

Language of flowers


Another carving from a cemetery on Whidbey Island, this one is of a carved basket holding ferns (symbolizing humility and sincerity), corn (symbolizing rebirth/fertility), and possibly dewdrops, but I’m not sure.

Any flower experts out there who do know, please weigh in.

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The madam of Birmingham

The madam of Birmingham

In 1873, Louise Wooster was a well paid lady of the evening (don’t you just love this term?) when a deadly cholera epidemic swept through Birmingham, Alabama. Several thousand people fled the city, but Lou stayed to nurse the sick, feed the hungry, and prepare the dead for funerals.

After the epidemic, she moved to Montgomery, Alabama to open a brothel, but by 1880, Lou had returned to Birmingham operating multiple brothels near City Hall where she could attract the wealthiest patrons. She made a fortune, donated heavily to charities and frequently came to the aid of fallen women.


Lou was also known as “the women of many lovers”, the last sweetheart of John Wilkes Booth, the actor, who killed Abraham Lincoln. She chronicled her exploits in a book called Autobiography of a Magdalene.

Want to know more? Check out this article: Early Birmingham madam who saved sick will have scrapbook in history center.




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The irony of funeral home names

Matchbook cover 4

Van Wormer needs a little thought (worms), but the Byrn Funeral Home definitely made me look twice.

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The mailman

Lakeview Cemetery

Lakeview Cemetery

According to the stories, Martin Hubbard was the mailman who rowed back and forth across Lake Washington, carrying the mail. One day, he never made it home.

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Off to the sea

In the ocean

This is up in Little River Cemetery, near Mendocino, CA. Frankly, seeing the view that’s right off the cliff from where this is located, I’d want to be in the ocean, too.

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Going once…going twice…


…to the lady in the red hat!

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Arkansas Coffin Company

Matchbook cover.3

I must admit that using matchbooks as advertising (Gosh, real bad cough you got there. You a smoker? Here, have a matchbook.) seems a wee bit ghoulish.

Nonetheless, I still think the Chapel of the Palms sounds more like one of those quickie Las Vegas wedding places than a funeral home.

Thanks for sending this over, JoAnne!


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