I roamed around a bit, photographing the busted up statues, when I came upon a grand old stone building half built into the earth, half out. The outer half said "Receiving Vault 1870," over its long-sealed doorway.
Receiving vaults were used in the olden days to store bodies of people who died in the winter months before motorized hydraulic excavating equipment like the backhoe became available. Sometimes it was just impossible to manually dig a grave in the frozen ground. Come spring, the bodies would be buried.
|Infrared Image of Receiving Vault|
He repeats, "Are you with us or against us?" Um, well, hmmm....not much opportunity to run unless I want to leave my camera and tripod behind. So I say, "I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean." He repeats in a steady tone, "Are you with us or against us?" Ok, so now thoughts of Marathon Man are flooding my brain, specifically the part where the Nazi dentist is torturing Dustin Hoffman while repeatedly asking, "Is it safe?" (If you've never seen this movie, and have a strong stomach, feel free to watch the scene here.)
I have a strong urge to reply, "Oh, I'm totally with you on this," and beat a hasty retreat, but I bite my tongue. He repeats the question a couple more times until Freddie finally drops the intimidation act and realizes that I'm not his enemy. He explains to me that his company just bought the cemetery and is restoring it. As part of the renovation, they're planning to build a crematorium on the grounds and the neighbors are up in arms about it. Hence the question "Are you with us or against us?"
Whew. I make some small talk with him (as much as I comfortably can after peeing my pants), and then say goodbye, good luck, or something ridiculous like that. I left and I've never been back to that cemetery. I wonder if they ever built the crematorium? If anyone reading this knows, please add it as a comment! I can only manufacture so much history, you know.