A little behind on this entry, but looking at my previous posts, I’ve been engulfed in other projects including some I haven’t posted on here. Better late than never.
Every year my family and I go to Perth Amboy, New Jersey to visit family for Christmas. Always a fun time even though Perth Amboy isn’t the prettiest place, but where my family lives is very scenic. They live right by the water looking into Staten Island, New York. Sadly, the recent weather events of Hurricane Sandy left the area beaten, tattered, and a graveyard for ships. As I write this, my Aunt’s work finally just re-opened and she is happily back at work.
Walking the pathway to the dock to where I use to watch ships come in was no more, along with all the boats. It was interesting and shocking to really see the destruction of Sandy. The destruction I saw in Pennsylvania doesn’t even compare. Also almost every house had a “For Sale” sign in their front yard. I think once was enough for everyone. A lot of places I used to walk around were blocked off due to either rubble or boats thrown on land from the storm.
From the Ferry Slip, I walked up the street to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The church is the center of a cemetery which features very old and worn tombstones. It reminds me of Salem, Massachusetts. The church is the oldest Episcopal Church in New Jersey and houses the oldest tombstone in New Jersey. Also down the street is The Proprietary House which was featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters.
Some of the deceased buried in the cemetery include Thomas Mundy Peterson, who was the first black man to vote in America. Also a cult leader that is buried above ground and vertically, he felt that once he was buried he could just walk into the afterlife instead of getting up from the ground. There is also a tombstone that has a hole in it from a cannonball. The cannonball was shot from a ship during the War of 1812, or so I was told.
Like any old cemetery, most tombstones feature the artwork of memento mori, which is latin for “Remember your mortality”, “Remember you must die” or “Remember you will die”. Personally I like the design and wish to have it on my grave stone, and now that I finished the tattoo on the outside of my left arm I think I will get this design in the inside of my arm. I am by no means a morbid person, but I find death as part of life and you shouldn’t be afraid of it.
However true the stories are, the cemetery is worth a visit along with the Proprietary House. Small historic references that aren’t mentioned in history books, but made this country what it is today. Just like life, all the little things add up to something huge in the end. We just don’t notice it in the beginning.
The Proprietary House: http://www.proprietaryhouse.org/home.html