a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mount Zion Church Day 18

Happy Good Friday from historic Mount Zion Church cemetery in Carroll Township, Pa.

This sculpture of Jesus adorns a tombstone on the grave of Sgt. Randolph Wayne Metz, who died in 1998 just shy of his 77th birthday.

He served in World War II in which he became a prisoner of war. 

Despite those obstacles, the tombstone is etched with this epitaph: "I never had it so good."

Have a nice Easter.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mount Zion Church Day 17

Viewed from the lens of a smartphone camera aimed through a window into the interior of Mount Zion Church, the rural building almost appears as if its congregation was just there last Sunday for services.

Upon closer examination, though, the broken light fixture and peeling paint on the wall indicate the small, plain house of worship has been abandoned in Carroll Township, Pa.

The details that are unique to the interior are the box pews, which are more prevalent in England and New England, and a rarity in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The paneled walls eliminated winter drafts in unheated meeting houses

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mount Zion Church Day 15

For several days now I've been attempting to photograph images without much luck through the windows of Mount Zion Church.

While the building in Carroll Township, Pa., is old and seemingly abandoned, it has modern, double-pane windows that pose a problem for cameras.

The inner panels of glass reflect surreal images of my camera, fingers and face overtop of the pews, which are of a style that is rare to this part of the United States.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mount Zion Church Day 14

It's interesting how someone anonymously decorates random graves in the cemetery behind Mount Zion Church on Cracker Jack Road in Carroll Township, Pa.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mount Zion Church Day 13

An older woman showed up today with two others as I was ready to leave Mount Zion Church.

She looked at me when we passed each other, smiled and said, "Isn't it beautiful here?"

"Yes, but it's a bit neglected," I replied.

She introduced herself as Betty Baxter as she walked with a cane to a family grave. I told her my name and mentioned something about this photography essay.

It's the first day this month that I have seen more than the occasional woman with an unlit cigarette dangling from her mouth and walking her dog in this cemetery along Cracker Jack Road in Carroll Township, Pa.

Mrs. Baxter went on to say the caretakers of this historic property once took good care of the small brick church that, today, needs restoration work.

"How long has it been closed?" I asked her.

"Oh about 20 years," she said. "It would be nice if they could get someone in there."

My sentiments, exactly.