Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I learned about another old custom today

This picture was taken around 1950. It is my mom's family. That is her standing in front in the white dress. Apparently back then it was common for the family to pack a picnic lunch on Sunday and go to the cemetery and make a day of it. The kids would play all day while the adults visited each other and tended to the graves of their loved ones. It was viewed as just another way to spend the day with people you loved (meaning the dead people).

Granny would pack big, ole roast beef sandwiches made on homemade bread. Or she would take a jar of ham salad (homemade) and tomatoes and fresh bread that they put in a washtub with a block of ice from the ice man. They would take an ice pick to chip the ice up.

Mommy said they would go to a different cemetery every week. She was not sure where the one in the picture is. One of the cemetery's had tiers cut into the mountain with picnic tables on each tier and there were also shelters made out of timbers from the woods so they could have their picnics on rainy day.

I could never imagine playing and having fun in a graveyard but apparently that was a common way to spend Sunday after church in West Virginia back then. There were plenty of friends and family to spend the day with.

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