The world is infinitely interesting. Today, while roaming the neighborhood of Scranton, Pennsylvania, my wife and I spotted one of those small rural cemeteries that dot the U.S. Not expecting a Saint Gaudens sculpture or a provocative inscription, I was nevertheless genuinely astonished when I closely observed the pylons that bracket the entrance to the cemetery.

That’s not an artifact of my editing of the photos: the northern pylon (figure 2) genuinely, really, actually reverses the name “ST. STANISLAUS” to “SUALSINATS .TS.” This is just wonderful, the heraldic principle of symmetry trumping common sense and taste. Why not reverse “R.C. Cemetery,” too? Of course not! That would be crazy.

As you see, they are old, and, I think, were not done easily, with a computer-guided cutter. Rather, they appear to me to have been laid out by hand. Hats off to the cutter: I’d have screwed it up.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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