It's my kind of anniversary. I've officially been a taphophile for 10 years.
Back when I started my website (in 2004), it was to have an online home base. I wanted a place where I could post my thoughts and have people connect with me. And it worked. I was in the middle of writing my book "Cemetery Walk," and it wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't been connected to the online taphophile community. It was much smaller then. People were still giving us super strange looks when we told people we loved going to cemeteries. A lot has changed.
I give a lot of credit to the genealogists. They helped take the creepy out of cemeteries. To an extent, the ghost hunting community has also made cemetery "haunting" cool by actually putting the creepy back in to the cemeteries.
Those who have followed me through the years know that I love cemeteries and sharing that love with others. This past February marked my fourth year of teaching a CommUniversity class on cemetery art and history. I've been speaking at or about cemeteries since 2005. I've traveled around the Midwest and even as far as the state of Georgia to share my passion about out finest outdoor museums. It's been a great journey, and I hope I'm still just at the beginning.
It's been 10 years since I started on this path. Ten years since I decided, "I want to write a book, and I want to write it about cemeteries." I wanted people to see cemeteries as important places filled with history and art rather than sadness or morbidness. I still do.
Within the past 10 years, I've written and published (self and otherwise) a number of books, become a speaker and workshop leader, and founded and edited a website that has grown through the years. My Facebook group keeps building and building. And while people don't necessarily know it's my group on FB, I'm still proud of how it keeps growing because that means more and more people are stepping into our cemeteries, cameras in hand. They are appreciating the beauty of the monuments and the fascinating history they offer us.
So thank you to all my taphophile friends. It has been a great pleasure getting to know so many awesome people from all over the world. Keep taking pictures and posting them. You're helping make the world a smaller place and letting us all take a peek into parts of the world we may never have seen otherwise.
I'm the founder and editor of TheCemeteryClub.com and Epitaphs Magazine. I love cemeteries and sharing the art and history of them with anyone who will listen!