Graffiti’s been around forever. Even an 1809 church on Nantucket becomes an irresistible canvas for those with pocketknife, pencil, chalk or paint in hand.
After a day’s work on Nantucket’s North Church, we had some time to kill before the 7:20 ferry back to the mainland. So Michael–whose crew has done significant repair work on the island’s South Church–gave me an impromptu tour the other evening.
Up the bell tower we went…
Free Tibet (with the purchase of a Tibet of equal or greater value)
Nary a timber or board was left untouched on our way bell-ward. Graffiti was everywhere! The oldest of it seemed to be the domain of those who labored on or for the church. Newer graffiti was more generally a calling card.
Some had that 19th century script which really stood out.
And certain places attracted more tags than others:
Seeing this roar from the 20’s made us go hmmmmmm…
From the simple…
…to the studied:
Graffiti came from away:
and some from just down the road…
Some read like an am radio jingle:
Jesus saves–Pele scores on the rebound!
Famous people haunted the bell tower!
And if you’re Homer’s boss, the A/C seemed just fine, fyi.
Hey–we know this guy!
Names and dates shared spaces with the utilitarian:
A closer look revealed a poignant moment etched in time:
Every one of these writings tells a story though many of the authors have long since heard their last bell.
In the church proper, the graffiti gave way to exquisite plaster-work and painting. Here below, the stories are no more or less compelling than those of the bell tower above.