Marker of the Season

Fall. Time to rediscover all those horror films that seemed so banal during the hotter months. But as the nights cool and the leaves yellow, they call to me…

This is the headstone of Thomas Coupe, who is interned in Sunnyside Cemetery, just outside of Coupeville, Washington (if you’ve even seen the film, Practical Magic, the town scenes were largely filmed there). I’ve been visiting this particular cemetery for many years. Several pioneers who settled Whidbey Island are buried here. Ebey’s Prairie and the wind-swept bluff nearby are photogenic, indeed. But this little cemetery always possessed such atmosphere, and all the ivy, shadows and wrought iron gates (and even some wooden ones) fueled my early love for photography.

I visited this spot again recently and discovered the ivy has been trimmed away, the few ancient wooden gates and fences have been replaced or removed altogether, and the rough edges gentrified. I’m not really too torn about this, after all, it is a respectful, place for remembrance. But to that side of me that enjoys horror films and decrepitude, I morn the loss of an old, influential friend.

Coupe's Stone2

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