Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Highway Memorials

When I was a kid, the Alabama Highway Department marked intersections where motorists had died, with a small white cross about eight inches high.  From the fourth through the eighth grade, I lived in Childersburg, Alabama, a town, on Highway 280, a little less than fifty miles south of Birmingham.  Five miles north of Childersburg is an even smaller town, Harpersville.

Harpersville is located at the junction of Highway 231 and Highway 280.  There were so many accidents and subsequent fatalities there that the Highway Department's miniature crosses grew to be a miniature cemetery.  I didn't think much about that until one foggy Saturday night, more than fifty years ago, two women that I knew and liked a lot, were killed there.  Two more crosses were added to the miniature cemetery, and I thought of my friends every time we passed that way going to my grandparent's houses.

The crosses are long gone, but I still think of my friends every time I pass the intersection.  When homemade memorials began popping up on highways all across the country, they brought back those memories.  Every time I passed a memorial, I tried to imagine the person or persons they represented. 

Then I began taking pictures of them, something I've done all across the U.S.  Earlier this evening, I set up a blog site called Highway Memorials.  The whole story is there.  I'd appreciate it if you'd take a minute and visit it, and if you so inclined, please leave a comment.



  1. Memorials are memories. And without them, we have nothing.

  2. I've often wondered the same thing about the ones I've seen in my limited travels. I've often wanted to stop and take a picture and see if I could learn more, but never do.

    Maybe now I will.

    1. Andy,
      When I look at these photos I feel like I'm in a sacred chapel. I believe these shrines are as Holy as any place on earth.
      Thanks for the comment.