At the south end of Road St. where it runs into Pear tree Rd, is a memorial to my family. Actually, it isn’t a memorial to my family exactly… this is the location of the Old Hollywood Cemetery. I have to say that as far as cemeteries go, this one is really good. It isn’t like the cemeteries of today where all of the markers are flat to the ground with just flower urns sticking out of the ground where you have to actually be standing over the grave site to read the marker. No, this is the old type… where every headstone is different and unique with wonderful epithets.. tributes to great lives lived and lost over the passing centuries. Some of these stones look brand new and others are so weathered you can’t even make out the names on them.
There is a gate, which is closed at sunset daily, pillared on either side by 2 huge stone columns letting you know that you are entering a wonderfully sacred place. There are huge oak trees shading parts of the graves while others never even experience the shadow of adjacent stones.
I suppose there are places of prominence here but you really can’t sense it once you are inside and riding up and down the rows. I have attended more funerals here than I can remember… and shed more tears here than just about anywhere else. Many of my family members are buried here… and just looking at the last names as you ride or walk around you see all the names that made my home town what it was and is today.
It is strange, but I find a certain comfort here… a connection with my past… with family members I never knew but I heard about… and grandparents that I miss so badly some days that it brings me to tears. And so I try to visit when I can… to just walk around and look… and stand… and remember. And once I’m finished there… I head across the Pear Tree Rd… to the New Hollywood Cemetery…. apparently there were a bunch of us that felt a true connection to this place on the narrows of the Pasquotank..