Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tales from the Alexandria Necropolis: The Halloween Bear

Since it’s almost Halloween, it’s time that I finish some business from Halloween of last year.  

In the southeastern corner of Alexandria, there is a large complex of cemeteries that covers 35 acres or more.  Most maps label the entire thing as Alexandria National Cemetery (the precursor to Arlington National Cemetery), but Alexandria National Cemetery only makes up a small part of the complex.  The rest is composed of lots belonging to various Alexandria churches.  

The cemeteries are filled with the sort of ornate grave markers that were popular a hundred years ago or more.   

On Halloween of last year (2015), I happened to be in the area of this cemetery complex, and decided to take a walk there, because it seemed like a Halloweeny thing to do, and I hoped that something Halloweeny would happen.  

Nothing Halloweeny happened.

But I did come across this bear, which has to be the most un-Halloweeny thing imaginable.

October Sky

October Sky is the name of a 1999 movie based on the life of former NASA engineer Homer Hickam.  The original title, Rocket Boys, taken from Hickam’s autobiography, was changed when marketing research revealed that women over thirty would not see a movie called Rocket Boys.  (The two titles are anagrams.)

In 1999 I saw Hickam on David Letterman’s CBS show promoting the film.  Letterman recalled an occasion on which the producers of Letterman’s earlier NBC show attempted to enlist Hickam to teach Letterman to scuba dive for a special underwater episode.  The idea turned out to be unworkable, however, as at that time of year the local sea water was so cold that Letterman would have frozen to death over the course of the hour-long show.  That would have been a great loss to television, especially during Letterman’s earlier, funnier days.  

I have never seen October Sky, nor does it, or Homer Hickam, or David Letterman, have anything to do with these pictures.   

They are simply some pictures of the October sky.  

(As always, click to enlarge.)