I wrote about the comings and goings of money on Mackenzie King’s grave last month. When the cash disappeared again in October, I figured that the mystery of the pennies was over: in the five months that I’d been keeping an eye on the waxing and waning of Mackenzie King’s fortune, the empty ledger stone stayed that way unless I anted up a few cents to get the penny collection started again. And since I’m no longer a daily passer-by, my ability to assist and document the phenomenon has suffered. But I was alerted last week that something may be up when someone arrived at Dodgeville after Googling “why pennies on mackenzie king’s grave.” Sure enough, when I rode by this week, Mackenzie King’s ledger was as overflowing with money as it ever has been. Apparently, someone’s been seeding the account in my absence.
It also made me wonder about what started this cash bonanza in the first place. As I’d written in my previous post, I have no idea who placed the original eight pennies in June that started Mackenzie King’s cash collection this year. At least one person noted a single penny on the ledger as early as August 2009, but that certainly didn’t blossom into the same kind of ongoing investment that I’ve seen this year. Placing money on Mackenzie King’s grave may be an old tradition, but it’s one that’s been taken up by many more people this year than in the past.
I rode or walked past William Lyon Mackenzie King‘s grave in Mount Pleasant Cemetery almost every day for three years until last month. Like most graves, not much changed from day to day. Other than a fresh floral arrangement placed on or near the ledger stone every week or two, it was pretty much the same all the time. This colourful yet reliably mundane official tribute got some company this spring when someone placed three rocks on the ledger. And then in early June, a wooden dowel carved into a candle flame and eight (and then thirteen) pennies appeared:
More coins were added to the pot over the next couple of weeks, until on June 27, someone decided to turn the carved dowel and rocks into a slightly more obvious phallic symbol:
Continue reading 'Mackenzie King generates some political capital'»
I frequently encounter joggers, walkers, cyclists, workers, rabbits, squirrels, and birds on my near-daily rides and walks through Mount Pleasant Cemetery, but this is the first time I’ve seen a deer. He was right near the Bayview entrance munching on some floral tributes before crossing the path to see what tasty treats await on the other side. I encounter deer often enough in the Don Valley that I’m not really surprised to see them in the city, but they usually bolt as soon as they see or hear you. This one walked almost straight toward me to get to the path—I moved twice to keep my distance—and didn’t seem fazed by any of the other people who passed no more than 15 metres away.
Also, I’m going to start carrying a real camera with me again; this phone camera just doesn’t cut it.
This is simply the best inscription I’ve ever seen on a grave marker. Further proof that writing your own epitaph “pre-need” is a lot more fun and rewarding than letting someone else do it for you post-need.
This wayfinding sign recently appeared on the Belt Line, just outside the entrance to Mount Pleasant Cemetery. At least the arrow, complete with hand-lettered spelling correction, is pointing in the right direction, unlike some other signs I could mention. There’s an old saying in woodworking: measure twice, cut once. Surely there’s a similar axiom in the sign-making business.
The Humphrey monument just outside the Mount Pleasant Mausoleum is instantly recognizable to anyone who travels past the Humphrey Funeral Home on Bayview just outside Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
The Humphrey monument is just a few steps away from the Weston monument previously featured in this space, and only about 2 km away from the funeral home.
The death of logos is an occasional series that looks at logos or wordmarks of organizations that appear on cemetery monuments.
This is one of my favourite monuments in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Like the last one that I highlighted, it depicts children at play. Or maybe at work in this case. I’m sure that I’m completely missing all kinds of symbolism here—why one leg of the ladder is cut off above the ground and why one of the climber’s boots is on the ground while he continues to ascend with a sock half off his foot, for starters—but I still appreciate the work that went into both the design and the execution. More views below the fold.
Continue reading 'Climbing the ladder'»
The warmer weather of the last few weeks means that I’ve resumed my lunchtime explorations of Mount Pleasant Cemetery. One thing I’ve been noticing is that some people’s monuments are marked by the logos or wordmarks of the companies they ran, owned, or founded. The first example is W. Garfield Weston, son of eponymous company founder George Weston.
Although I haven’t been doing much walking there this winter, one of the pleasures of exploring Mount Pleasant Cemetery in any season is admiring some of the unique monuments and memorials scattered throughout the grounds. Many of the most touching bronze monuments are reflections of childhood fun, like this one of two children sharing a book.
If you’re wondering, the book is blank.