Stone cold treasure

My charming daughter invited me down to Richmond for a weekend sleepover. We took in a dance performance and went to lovely restaurants that moms can afford more than college art students can.

She took me on a dreamy walking tour of the historic and breathtaking Hollywood Cemetery. She took pictures and I just enjoyed and we talked and walked and talked. And then we happened on the find of a lifetime - something that could have been designed just for me to find it: a huge dry-stack Confederate memorial pyramid that has to be seen, and touched and stood next to, to be believed. It was so appropriate to this novel I'm writing that entire scenes were re-written before we got back to the car. It was staggering even if you're not a stonemasonry fanatic and writing about the War Between The States. It was awesome - in the original sense of that word - even without knowing that 18,000 confederate soldiers were buried around it. Or knowing that they didn't have cranes capable of putting the capstone on so they paroled a prison inmate in exchange for his guiding the stone into place without getting killed.

That thing has NO mortar. It is standing there stone upon stone, a heart-stopping still avalanche of rock. The art and craft of doing that is, well, an craft of art. And physics. It was built a few years after the war, while the grief itself must have held those stones in place.

She and I did have one incredulous moment when some putz decided to climb up onto it for a photo op. We imagined a line of spectral Fayetteville Rifles trained on his disrespectful backside as he went up, and on his grinning mug as he waved.

What a beautiful day, with my wonderful fierce daughter and dear friend.



  1. What an amazing thing!

  2. That pyramid is fantastic! Glad you enjoyed such a lovely weekend with your daughter Laura. My mother feels like a friend to me too :)

  3. sounds a great time and what an amazing piece of architecture.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts