Monday, July 18, 2011

The Oakland Cemetery

The weekend started out with the premier of the final Harry Potter movie.  I can't believe it's over.  I've been reading the books and watching the movies for so long I feel as if Harry is part of my life.  There is nothing Harry Potter related left for me to look forward to.  It's so sad.

The movie was fantastic.  Stephen's office got a sneak preview Thursday night - YES PLEASE!  It was a private showing just for employees of his office and their guests.  What a great idea.  We got to see it in 3D, too.  Friday night I went to see it with my Harry Potter "crew".  I've gone with them to see the last 3 movies and we all read the books at the same time (the day they came out).  It still amazes me that a book, just a book, brought so many people together.

Quick movie review: Get your tissues ready.  I cried about 50% of the movie.  Not only because I knew it was all ending, but because the acting and the movie was so well done.  I knew how it all ended, but I still got choked up at some very tense moments. This movie was by far the most intense and the best acted - on all parts.  The main three were spectacular and the professors were fabulous too.  The movie did pick up in the middle of the book, so if you missed part 1, watch it first.  Stephen had never read a book or seen a single movie and he enjoyed the film.  There were some parts I even heard him gasp or react to a scene out loud like I was.  No, he didn't cry.  I cried enough for both of us.  I'm glad I got to see it in 3D and 2D.

Now, about the cemetery.  Oakland Cemetery is smack dab in the middle of downtown (well, maybe a little east).  It was established in the mid-1800s and plots are still being sold, but there is a waiting list.  If a plot was purchased and hasn't been used in the 100 years since purchase, it goes to auction.  I know it sounds weird to go tour a cemetery for a Saturday night date, but it was perfect.  The grounds are beautiful and so historic, there is so much to learn just walking around the brick streets.  We took the Margaret Mitchell tour so we learned a lot about her life and her family, some of whom were inspirations for characters in Gone With the Wind.  She came from a wealthy family, so basically everyone she was related to is buried in the cemetery.  Margaret wasn't one to follow society's norms for women and she was very strong willed, which distanced her from several of the other women in her family.  She didn't get along great with her mother and never got along with her grandmother.  Margaret was married twice and is buried next to her husband, John Marsh.  He was actually the best man in her first wedding...

resting place of Margaret Mitchell and her husband, John Marsh

Margaret was a 5th generation Atlantan and loved the city.  Like a lot of southerners who have family who fought in the Civil War, her family loved to talk about it and that's where she got most of her knowledge about the war for the book.

beautiful headstones and landscaping

After the tour, Stephen and I stayed a while longer to walk around the check out the rest of the cemetery.  There is a section for Jewish people, black people and Confederate soldiers.  It was interesting to see how the Jewish section was in the very far corner of the giant space of land.  Additionally, the black section was once on the outside of the cemetery but as it grew and took over more land they needed the black space in the middle.  So the DUG UP, are you serious, the dead and moved them to another section of the cemetery so they wouldn't be in the prime area.

some of the headstones were very elaborate statues, most of them quite beautiful

I definitely want to go back and take the Civil War tour of the graveyard.  There were so many graves that we past of Generals from that war, the student in me wants to know more.  

rows and rows and rows of Confederate soldier headstones

One of the most iconic graves in the cemetery, the grave of the Unknown Confederate Dead.  It was donated by the brothers of some soldiers who died in the war

The cemetery is old, very old.  I didn't find it creepy, except for one set of graves on a hill where the hill was moving away.  There is a Halloween 5k through the cemetery that Stephen and I will definitely been running.  They also have a Halloween tour when they open all of the mausoleums for tours.  FUN STUFF!  I'm so glad I live in a city with rich history.  

The bench is so old it's fallen down and the grass has grown all around it.  Beautiful.

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