If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.
Skull Art 16
This art is very small so it’s perfect for people with limited display space. It’s also the ideal gift for people who are into skulls. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on October 27, 2010. You can order this skull art right here.

If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.
Skull Art 2
This art is very small so it’s perfect for people with limited display space. It’s also the ideal gift for people who are into skulls. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on October 19, 2010. You can order this skull art right here.

Benjamin Franklin

Great beauty, great strength, and great riches are really and truly of no great use ; a right heart exceeds all.

Here is the fifteenth video in a series of computer animations called The Unicorn With An Attitude that I did back in the 1990’s in an ill-fated attempt to show off my abilities as an artist and a computer whiz in the hopes of either 1) get famous or 2) get a higher paying job than the office administrative work that I was frequently offered.

I based “The Funeral” on the numerous funerals I’ve attended over the years. Some were for family members and some were for friends. Some funerals I was willing to attend because I really cared for the deceased. Others I attended mainly because I was expected there even though I had a less-than-favorable relationship with the deceased. (No, I’m not going to say which funerals were ones I didn’t want to go to. I’m really not in the mood to create new enemies. <LOL!>) I did this animation while I imagined what if people attended a funeral for someone who wasn’t liked at all and I included snarky thought balloons about how they really felt about the deceased while pretending to be in mourning.

Here’s my original write-up for this animation:

The Unicorn With An Attitude is pressured into attending the funeral of a hated acquaintance who had a notorious reputation for drinking and philandering. Wait until you learn about the true feelings of the deceased’s so-called “friends and loved ones.”

So, without further ado, here’s “The Funeral.”

If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.
Skull Art 8
This art is very small so it’s perfect for people with limited display space. It’s also the ideal gift for people who are into skulls. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on October 22, 2010. You can order this skull art right here.

I found out about this interactive quiz through a Facebook friend. When it came time for me to select states, I only omitted the ones where I flew into for less than three hours because I was only there for a connecting flight to my final destination. It’s amazing how much of the U.S. map I’ve covered in my life.


Create Your Own Visited States Map

If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.

Burlesque Hedgehog

It’s titled Burlesque Hedgehog and it’s perfect for people who love hedgehogs, burlesque performers, or illustrations. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on March 4, 2013. You can order it right here.

Earlier this month I took a trip to the Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore. I had long heard of this place via Roadside America and it’s the final resting place for a variety of famous people. The one downside is that I got caught up in a lot of traffic so by the time I arrived I only had 45 minutes left to tour the place before closing time.

Last Saturday I decided to try again. This time I packed a lunch and left earlier. I managed to stay longer this time. I parked my car near the chapel and walked around for a while, ate lunch in my car, walked around for a little while longer, drove my car to the mausoleum on the other side of the cemetery, parked there and walked around that area until it was close to closing time. I was able to be more leisurely when walking around because I had more time. The temperature was in the 40′s but it didn’t bother me too much because I was moving around so much. It was very sunny and the trees were showing off their finest fall foliage. It was a nice visit overall. I managed to take a lot of landscape pictures, some of which shows the city buildings in the far horizon.
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A lot of graves at Green Mount Cemetery are very photogenic. That’s because, according to the official map I was given on my last visit, symbolic funerary art was very big during the Victorian Era (when this cemetery first opened its gates).

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I revisited the grave of Arunah Shepherdson Abell, who founded The Baltimore Sun newspaper. This time I took a closer look at the elaborate headstone that’s encased under a protective capsule.

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I found a notable grave that I missed on my last visit. This is the grave of the Eckhardt twins John and Robert.

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John was better known as the sideshow performer Johnny Eck, who was born with a truncated torso (a condition known as Caudal regression syndrome or sacral agenesis) and he appeared in the cult classic film Freaks. His twin, Robert, was also displayed on the sideshow circuit alongside Johnny where Johnny was known as the “Half Boy” or “Half Man” while Robert was the “normal” twin.

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(Above photo from phreeque.tripod.com/johnny_eck.html.)

The headstone’s peaceful image of woods and a covered bridge over a stream reminded me of one of the numerous painted screen that Johnny Eck painted once he retired from the sideshow circuit and returned to his native Baltimore, such as this one that I photographed at an exhibit of painted screens that was held at the Maryland Institute College of Art earlier this year.

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I have to admit that this year I felt like I traveled in Johnny Eck’s footsteps when it came to his time in Baltimore. Back in March I went to the two related MICA exhibits on painted screens and Johnny Eck’s life. I tried submitting a story to Make magazine about Johnny Eck as a creative person but it got ignored so I uploaded it on Medium.com instead. Last month I briefly visited the outside of the home where Johnny and his twin, Robert, were born and where they spent most of their lives until their deaths. And now I have seen Johnny and Robert’s final resting place. It’s very fitting that the twins are buried together since they were pretty much together their entire lives.

The last time I was there I had a difficult time finding that grave. This time I carefully looked at the map and, after the first couple of futile attempts, I decided to just walk along the paved roads and walkways. I found the grave. As you can see in the next photo, the grave faces away from the road.

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The front of the twins’ graves faced this family plot, which was the same family plot where I briefly saw a fox during my last visit. I was standing in front of Johnny Eck’s grave all that time and I didn’t realize it! D’OH!

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After that first successful find, I kept on using the paved roads and walkways while frequently consulting my map to help guide me to another famous grave. Once again I hit pay dirt as I found the Booth family grave.

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The Booths were a family of prominent stage actors in the 19th century. The family patriarch, Junius Brutus Booth, is given prominence on the large obelisk that marks the family plot.

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Surrounding the obelisk are smaller headstones which mark exactly where each Booth family member is buried, such as the one in the next photo showing the final resting place of Junius Booth and his wife, Mary Ann.

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There were a lot of Booth relatives buried around that obelisk underneath smaller headstones.

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There is one member of the Booth family who is also buried in the family plot but, unlike the rest of the family buried there, he doesn’t have his own headstone but his name is listed on one side of the obelisk (circled in red—yes, I did this in Photoshop) as being among the children of Junius and Mary Ann.

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John Wilkes Booth was a stage actor like his father and some of his siblings but he’s more famous for being the one who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. The entire nation was shocked by that murder and it’s not only because a president was killed. John Wilkes Booth was a respected thespian and sort of a celebrity. In some ways you could say that John Wilkes Booth was the O.J. Simpson of the 19th century. After he was killed by U.S. troops while refusing to surrender, he was buried in the family plot but his family decided against giving him his own headstone because of the raw feelings many Americans had towards him at the time and they probably didn’t want to court any more trouble than what they were already going through.

I was also successful in finding the grave of Elijah Jefferson Bond, who patented the Ouija board. One side of his headstone is a typical modern headstone that looks a bit bland…

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…until you view the other side.

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I took advantage of that discovery to use the Mikuture app for the one and only time during my visit. Here’s Hatsume Miku next to Bond’s grave.

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Bond’s grave is the one famous person’s grave that’s not on the official cemetery map but you can generally find it by using the information posted on Roadside America’s site. It’s located in the P section near the intersection of two paved pathways, as shown in the next photo.

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It’s also located near the giant mausoleum building on the left (as shown in the next photo).

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It’s also located north of another famous person’s grave. She was nicknamed Betsy but she was known as Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and she had quite a story.

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She was the daughter of a wealthy Baltimore merchant who married Jerome Bonaparte. One relative objected to that marriage—Jerome’s older brother, French Emperor Napoleon I. Napoleon ordered his brother to return to France so the marriage can be annulled. Jerome initially refused but then he and his pregnant wife sailed to France to attend Napoleon’s coronation. When they arrived, Betsy was not allowed to disembark under Napoleon’s order. Jerome got off the ship and tried to meet with Napoleon in order to reason with him. That was the last time Betsy ever saw Jerome. She ultimately sailed on to England where her son, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, was born.

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After the birth she and her son returned to Baltimore without the older Jerome and the marriage ended. Napoleon subsequently arranged for his brother to be married to Princess Catharina of Württemberg while Betsy spent the rest of her life in Baltimore.

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Last week I came upon the grave of Enoch Pratt, the wealthy businessman and philanthropist who funded what is now known as the Sheppard Pratt Health System. This week I found the grave of the other founder, Moses Sheppard, who was a wealthy Quaker businessman and a philanthropist. Moses Sheppard became concerned about the plight of the mentally ill when he was a commissioner of the prison and he saw the inhumane treatment of those who were called “lunatics” in his day. He eventually came up with the idea of creating a humane system of treating the mentally ill.

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I stayed quite a while at the cemetery until it was close to the 4 p.m. closing time. I kept on looking around to see if I would be just as lucky in finding wildlife like I was the last time when I briefly saw that fox. I saw a large group of crows that were flying around but I see crows all the time so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me.

I highly recommend the place if you’re looking for something to visit. Here are a few suggestions if you go to Green Mount Cemetery:

  • Wear comfortable shoes. This place is not made for high heels.
  • I strongly recommend bringing a cane or a hiking stick if you are unsteady on your feet because the ground is uneven between the frequent burials and large tree roots.
  • Get the free map from the office when you arrive.
  • When I was looking for certain graves, I found that I had better luck if I stuck to the paved roads and walkways than if I walked directly through the burial grounds. I also used the chapel and the mausoleum as landmarks while I was looking for the graves I wanted to find.
  • When finding a grave, look on both sides of the headstone because some of them face away from the paved road or path.
  • Keep in mind that the map can be confusing at times because there are lines on it that have you thinking that they denote paved walkways. Some lines do denote paved walkways while others are just there to denote a grid. That’s why I recommend using certain places (like the chapel and the mausoleum) as landmarks.
  • You should give yourself at least one hour (two or more hours would be better) to visit the place.

That’s it for visiting Green Mount Cemetery.

If you’re looking for a unique one-of-a-kind gift item, I have this painting currently on sale in my Etsy shop.

Desire

This painting would make the perfect gift for the dog lover in your life. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on September 26, 2011. You can order this painting right here.

Looking for some holiday gift ideas for the doll lover in your life? Do you like to make your own presents for others? If you answer “yes” to both questions, then you should check out the Wren*Feathers blog, which has doll clothes patterns that are free for you to download. The patterns fit mostly 14-18 inch dolls (although you could manually resize them for have dolls that are larger or smaller).

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