Story behind the Image: Let me say that when this image was first published, one of my dear friends voluntarily suggested a caption that hit the mark and demonstrated his knowledge of how images like this might be produced. I was “okay” with it as I knew that my deceased parents would be, too. They knew Tim.
When Mother was transported by Wells Funeral Home to be interred, they traveled down Interstate 26 from Waynesville to the Mt. Lebanon Cemetery – the home church cemetery for the the Resurrection Lutheran Church in Cameron, S.C. where she grew up. My wife and I did not intentionally accompany the hearse but we frequently leap-frogged with the long black Cadillac down the interstate. It took a little time for Dan Pottinger ( of Wells), who helped us with our family arrangements, to become comfortable with my humor and penchant for creativity. Whenever the hearse would pass us on the interstate, my wife (K.B.) and I would say, “There goes Mom!”
The imagery was powerful and I told Dan after the graveside service that we needed to re-create the scene. This was a request he had never had before, and his reaction was very doubtful. In honesty he asked, “do we do the drive-down and graveside ceremony over again?”
So with several months thinking about it and looking at locations, the best choice ended up being the basement garage of the funeral home. The relational distances could be set up — side to side and front to back, and I had the equipment to re-create the lighting. The road scene is from Old State Road near the Cemetery. The scene in the rear view mirror is the flipped image of Old State Road. The informality of the occasion and our friendship made the production successful. I learned many things, for one, that funeral directors do not have to go to car-washing school to become credentialled.
In the re-creation, I asked Dan to remove his dark jacket, roll the window down, and rest his white-sleeved arm on the car window ledge. He whimpered a little, “It is against company policy”. I looked at him, but then he grinned.
It was as Mother would have wanted it.