Sandy Creek

Lane Street Project: the environment.

I understand that poking around in cemeteries is not for everyone. Might I interest you, then, in a creek cleanup?

This is Sandy Creek. Yesterday, just past Rountree Cemetery, I shepherded a snapping turtle from the middle of street to the curb, then watched it tip itself headlong into this filth. Like the other waterways of East Wilson — branches of Hominy Swamp and Toisnot Swamp — the pollution in Sandy Creek is atrocious. That any animal, much less one as large and ancient as a dinner-plate-sized turtle, is able to survive in this soup is a miracle, but does life need to be so hard? 

Lane Street Project: Lane Street on a breezy winter morning.

Two minutes, 49 seconds, of Lane Street on a breezy winter morning.

Sandy Creek spilling from the culvert under Lane Street.

The road, walking southwest.

The high bank of Rountree cemetery with its crown of honeysuckle and privet and catbrier and blackberry bramble.

Across the road, the low bank marking the cemetery’s western half. Note the daffodils. Sandy Creek flows just behind the trees; the houses crouch in its flood plain.

Just past the ditch marking its boundary, the gravestones of Odd Fellows Cemetery hove into view.

Between the Dawson and Tate family plots, Irma Vick‘s leaning concrete marker is visible at the edge of the woods. Hers is the outlier of the Vick family plot, which is otherwise overgrown.

A remnant of the cemetery’s wall; I enter the old gateway.

The cemetery looks empty. It is not.

The two tall marble markers are Dave and Della Hines Barnes, from the back. Presumably, other members of the Barnes and Hines family lie in their marked plot, but no stones are visible.

The city erected the two pillars at the entrance to the parking lot. They are, inaccurately, engraved “Rountree/Vick.” The parking lot bears the scorch marks of a torched vehicle. It is rarely visited by anyone with good intention.

Vick cemetery as playground.

The monument and its towering shrubs.

Video shot by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2020.