Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Descansos" - in Spanish, roadside tributes to family and friends who perished along Arizona highways and byways.

It's no longer "legal" to build a "Descanso" in most states of the Union.  In Arizona and New Mexico, in particular, the tradition continues, and lost loved ones are honored in the most creative of sacred ways.  "A F" here was likely a working cowboy or farmhand: his"Descanso" was placed in a ditch some 10 feet off a two-lane road:  likely the spot where AF perished in an auto accident of some unknown kind.

Descansos tell a life story in a small, sacred spot.  Flowers, beads, trinkets, talismans often decorate the spot the loved one perished. 

Freshly cut spring flowers have been added to the cross, itself resting in artificial garlands.  Family must tend the descanso as they would any other gravesite.  With the Snodgrass tribute, and two names -- Lynn and Gerry -- it's likely both perished in the crash.

You can almost read the name of the deceased on the horizontal bar of the cross.  Few descansos I saw were illuminated at night.  Not sure how this lantern is tended.

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