peace in the valley…




farm-john campbell school,brasstown NC

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

This picture wouldnt be as nice if I told you that once the fog lifts there in the background stands a mall-or more likely,a WalMart. It wouldnt be so-trust me…the scene is pristene when the sun finally cuts over the mountains in the background ,hidden in the fog. But as crazy as it all is-the likely chance of having the background destroyed by commercial tilt wall box stores-or like the casino out between Shiprock and Cortez. If your going towards Green River you had to pass through Shiprock and through the scene of peoples homes that are not in the standard many people would live in-and right out of town a few miles is the casino. Its very interesting-going through the desert and then getting slammed with the reality of how many others live in poverty and a few miles away no body gives a damned about anything except for winning a bucket full of nickles. Another part of it is the facination of how they built this thing in the middle of the desert-and scenery that just draws you into it like a spirit calling you…and then,thunk-here it is folks,raw indian gambleing.
My closest friend and I ‘collect’ cemeteries. It started with me in some ways-I once operated a tombstone business and put blocks of granite in grave yards all across this section of Florida. And trust me-in Florida some of the graveyards are back in the rough as much as they might be right off the highway and over the years I managed to learn the location of graveyards not too many know about.
Theres actually a name for us…taphophile-which means we are nuts and enjoy grave yards.
My pal has taken a lot further-he is kin to film folk and has access to materials for recording and cameras and the works…and once he filmed an interview in New York at a cemetery-Mt.Mora…which is the first African American graveyard in the country and it is protected by Congress as a historical site.
As the interview was going on-with an old blind black man aged 93 you could see the back drop of a building behind him. He was sitting on a bench in the graveyard and because he knew his position he could point out one grave after another and tell you history that made your eyes water. He had a companion-his guide fellow,a man of 78 and it appeared these were the last two who were ever going to be buried there.
So this old man is telling this story about how the graveyard came to be and told about 200 years of history and it came to the structure which was part of the wall in the back ground-which was a mall…a major super mall.
I am not going to try to explain everything-but some corperation bought all of the land including Mt.Mora and that was in the plan to be shoved underground so the mall could have one more section of parking for the 24 theatre complex when this old man and his 78 year old guide fellow went to the head of the corperation with papers from Congress saying the land belonged to the cemetery and could not be touched.
Like that casino in New Mexico-things took up the view.
To get to the cemetery one has to enter the mall and pass completely through top the center where access is available to go into Mt.Mora. The mall completly surrounds the small graveyard. A valley of peace to some-an eyesore to others.
A town near here has a fast food place which I aint going to get sued over this so-lets call it -Munch a Buncha a Burger-you see all its commercials with people jamming their product into smiling faces…and the town near here has one of those joints and to make a parking lot they bulldozed an old graveyard of old black folks bones and head stones and paved it so we can park and get a burger. How strange. Same town where Billy Graham was baptised in the river.
Sure ruined the view in this photo didnt I?
Trust me. It is a peaceful place with beautiful view. There are only mountains in the background,no Wal Mart.

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