Saturday, September 4, 2010

Places & Animals (2)

This post will contain a personal mini-trip down memory lane for me, but overall this post should be experienced in the same context that it was written.

Yes, you are seeing cows for the first three pictures. We have a couple of working farms here in Newington. The one that owns the cows, is called the Eddy Farm, and is one of the oldest working farms in Connecticut, having come into existence in the mid 18th century. If you click on the link, you can learn more information about this important piece of local agricultural history. Also if you're in the area, during the summer months the farm sells fresh produce at a stand located about three hundred years from where I took these photos.

Anyways, the story on how I came about to taking pics of these cows (considering where the grazing field is located) is quite interesting. I had taken a rare half day off from work and I was on my way to having lunch on the Turnpike, when I spotted about a dozen cows or so grazing in the field. So, I pulled my car way over to the side of the road (because I was on a busy thoroughfare), threw it into park, rolled my window down and slid over to the passenger seat and took a few pictures of the cows.

A little background as to where this field is located. Deep in the background of the second picture you can see the farm, and off to the left of the first and third picture, you can just make out the out of bounds area for the local private golf course. Yup, the local country club is located next door to the farm. Directly behind me is the softball/soccer fields, which double as the launch site for the July 4th fireworks.

And now, the mini-trip down memory lane. The next four photographs were taken on the same day and within an hour of so after the cows. The location is the town cemetery, which is bordered by the high school, a senior citizens complex and the Kellogg-Eddy house (original owners of the farm and important local people in the 17th & 18th century). The gravestone is of my dad, Professor George B. Miller, Sr., who passed away in July 2004.

I now present to you, a brief explanation of what you're seeing in these three photos of my dad's marker. First off, the wooden statue contains a metal carving of the local Masonic Lodge (Stratford CT) that my dad was a member of while he was alive. The two flags that you see there (US and Stars & Bars) are not the original that were put there in '04. While the US flag has been the same over the years, the other flag was originally the country of Jamaica, because that country became his second home while he was alive. The Stars & Bars popped up as a replacement in 2008 after a trip to the Civil War museum in Harrisburg PA. The cross is from the local Palm Sunday celebration at the Catholic church located across from the cemetery entrance.

In this shot, you can see some of the details of the two flags that were carved into the headstone. Main reason why even though my dad passed away in July, his ashes weren't interred until November (the weather on that November day was very much like the weather you see in these photos). The other carving of the house with the heart and arms, signifies that we welcomed people into our house with open arms and open hearts. And of course, the plot is perfectly located under the shadiest tree in the cemetery.

This is the shot of the roadway looking east. You can see some of the gravestones and some of the displays just off to the right. Some of the displays are truly poignant and have moved me in ways that I don't feel comfortable in describing. The flagpole that you see in the distance is to a memorial that I will go over in greater detail next week, as the next batch of photos lead off with that memorial.


  1. Your father's marker is absolutely gorgeous. I like visiting can read a lot of history there and see a lot of love. Thanks for sharing these, G. I can't wait to see the next batch.

  2. That was really nice of you to share your father's gravestone and final resting place, with us. It's nice to know what all the symbols are and why they are on a gravestone. I often treck around old grave yards and wonder what happened to an entire family or what a certain symbol means.
    Nice looking cows! lol We saw a lot of beautiful brown cows in Iowa. I should learn what kind they are. :)Bea

  3. Talon: Thanks. And you're absolutey welcome, as it was my privlege to share a part of me that I don't often feel comfortable in sharing.

    Bea: The cows....considering how suburban Newington is, it really is amazing that we have two functioning farms in town, let alone the cows.

    And I truly enjoyed sharing this slice of my life that I have a tendency to keep hidden more often than not.

  4. The site is a nice tribute to your dad...lots of time and effort. Thanks for sharing, G.

  5. You're more than welcome. My dad was well known in the West Indian community and there was quite a turnout for both his two day wake and his funeral.

    Jamaica really was his home away from home.

  6. Nice pics of the Holstien cows grazing.
    Your Dad's got a good spot there for visiting I see, n many trinkets to ponder.

    Where My parents are, no stuff is allowed to be placed at the site- no flowers or trinkets- a flag on Memorial Day only. I don't go there much.

  7. Snaggle: The town cemetary is pretty flexible on what you can have and what can stay on the headstone during the year. I try to get there at least a few times a year to visit, think and contemplate.

  8. I've never seen a display quite like that around a grave, G. It's pretty cool that they allow that.

    I've just been to my dad's grave once since the funeral in December. It's always emotional to go there - it's a veteran's cemetery and I had a hard time finding his grave at first. They all look alike. So your dad's grave has such personality - I like it.

  9. Lynn: Thanks. The entire area where his grave is located is pretty much covered with flat markers, which I think is due to cremations (my dad was cremated). Everywhere else in the cemetary features the normal headstone.

    A lot of the other grave markers are similarly decorated as well. Sort of a joyous rememberance of life you might say.


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