Letter: Eastside Cemetery is no walk with a dog

To the Editor:

Regarding your story (Management 101, March 20) on the cutting of timber from the City of Rockingham property on Old Aberdeen Road:

letter_logoYour article mentioned that a potential park in that area, among other things, would contain a “dog park.”

I thought the City of Rockingham already had a very large dog park and exercise walking trail.

I think it is known as “Eastside Cemetery.”

I have heard people complain in the past how during funerals there that people are seen exercising in the area of a funeral being conducted. 

More recently I have been hearing complaints of loud music blaring from vehicles parked at nearby businesses during ceremonies. 

But most of all, I hear constant complaints from people observing dogs urinating on flowers on graves or on tombstones. These are not dogs running loose, as I am to understand, but dogs on leashes with the owners observing such activity. 

Not to mention piles of dog poop left on graves. At least goose poop at some cemeteries disintegrates almost immediately with rain. Dog poop does not. And, it smells. 

I wonder if cemeteries could put up signs, “No Pets Allowed.”

Perhaps more and more people are electing to be cremated after death to avoid being peed or pooped upon in a cemetery.

People seem to have no respect for the living today, much less the dead. What would your dearly departed think?

(I’m impartial because my grave site is in Cheraw, S.C.)

Tom MacCallum
Rockingham

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Opinion

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  • Bruce Brown

    I too, am aware of the misuse of Eastside Cemetery. All of my nearest relatives are buried there. I have gone to visit their graves on numerous occasions and had to weave my vehicle thru the joggers and walkers and some with dogs doing as they pleased, as mentioned in Mr. McCollum’s letter. There is a sign at the entrance from Fayetteville Road stating the “rules of use” for pedestrians using this cemetery for recreational purposes, but it may as well not be there for all the good it does. As for the designated parking area, there are some privileged characters who prefer to park under the large tree right adjacent to several graves. The sign plainly states the rules of use and the rules are being constantly violated by a select group. I’ve complained to the Rockingham city police three different times but they seem to have no interest in enforcing the city ordinance relating to Eastside. Perhaps a concession stand and kiddie rides and dirt bikes and maybe a training course for prospective drivers could be included in the “permissible” things to do in this what has become a public “amusement” park.

    • Derrer

      Bruce..that is a little extreme..really rides and concessions? this debate has already played out on Facebook on another page with someone suggesting cameras and security..come on guys Richmond county had a park plan that was voted down.the places that were mentioned to walk are not as suitable for ladies alone or the elderly.Definitely dog poo should be removed by the owner we even do this in our neighborhood so that certainly is not ok..don’t see where urine hurts unless it is killing grass or something. But I live behind the cemetery and am very sad to hear no one being respectful of funerals,but walking and jogging is not hurting anyone.It is sad that a few ruin it for everyone.maybe an officer randomly could give out civil fines for people not cleaning up after dogs or not following rules that are in place. I have walked there off and on for over twenty years and always been respectful and see nothing wrong with that!

      • Camilla Hudson

        Yes, Richmond County had a park plan voted down and this just might be what all this is about. Someone is clearing the land where they wanted to put this park. My guess is that it will be brought up again by the powers- that- be in the near future. The wealthy seem to stick together when it comes to getting more money from the lower income people. As for walking in the cemetary, it’s a good place to walk. Not only for the elderly but anyone that want to walk to better their health. Some people need a paved surface to walk on instead of straw. Less slipping that way. The rules at the front of Eastside should be followed by all. If you can’t control your dog pooping or pick it up behind them, then don’t bring your dog to the cemetary. Be respectful! It’s that simple…There is always going to be that ‘one’. If you see them, speak up. Remind them it’s not allowed….

        • Joe DeBerry

          The one problem with that Sports Complex they are still up to no good on ,is if you look at the plans on this park it has a old Scotch Cemetery on a Acre of land that Base Ball fields where being built up against it as a poop area to walk your dogs around the cemetery with no respect for the deceased there and a Cemetery is a Final Resting place and with all the noise from it is not a Sacred Burial Ground ,so it showed these Politicians have no concern for the Deceased and the living ,so these that are still trying to put it in are out for nothing but Greed ,but we have enough voters against it so they are clearing it in hopes to Deceive the voters here again and we need this money they are wasting again put in to other areas that will benefit the County . Another referendum of Deceit want work in 2016 .

      • Ingrid Marks

        Amen I so agree, there are people buried there that used to walk this place themselves and that is why they chose it as their final resting place. My experiences walking their are of quietness, peacefulness, serenity just watching the squirrels scurry about. It was a place to think of loved ones long past and having fond peaceful memories. We kept the vandles out with our presence. I have not been back for a while due to my mothers illness, but I think of that serenity so often,an fully intend to walk there again, if possible. Loud music? Disrespect? These people should be banned for life, these hoodlums have no where to go shake their car windows and disturb someone’s peacefulness with that loud crap. Why don’t we all turn in tag numbers? Take videos an pics post them, arrest them and forbid them to return. Punish the wrong doers not the innocent that know the secrets of silence and calmness that a walk around that place holds! Thank you Derrer

    • Jay Hudson

      Bruce, if someone parked a kiosk there the police would show up quick to see if they had a county license.

  • don

    This cemetery has out lived its purpose for a place to jog. With the the new parks and green-ways there are better alternatives. Steele street,Hinson lake, Ledbetter park all all better suited for this activity.

  • Ingrid Marks

    We have always lived in harmony walking at Eastside cemetery, in my younger days “our generation” respected funerals if one was there or came we left! We would even check the papers to see before we planned to go, if we missed the obituary and saw a funeral we never attempted to walk and as for dogs we were raised that in a public place…..you brought the little baggies and picked up your dogs messes and as for urination there were plenty of trees on the lower side. I would never allow a dog (didn’t ever go with many) to urinate on anything to be disrespectful. Nor did we play loud music, EVER!!!! We were taught to respect, just as we were taught to sit together with no t.v running and remain quiet during a thunderstorm….as respect! So I think what we have is a new generation that have no morals or respect, at least the ones that do this type of thing. I challenge you to take count and record the age groups that are doing this……we never did….nor ever would!!!! Just a thought to…..this will be the generation that takes care of my generation when we are old and near our end and that my friend is more frightening that the disrespect they show the ones that have reached the end!!!!

    • don

      Ingrid, I agree with you. Maybe the cemetery should be reserved for senior citizens who would not be a distraction and feel safe to walk there. Like I said the city has provided other places to walk the dog, jog, listen to music, bicycle, picnic etc. We are fortunate to have these areas and should use them.

  • Pat McDonald

    Sorry to say but it’s not just in Eastside Cemetery. We have a man and his wife that walk their dogs and let them poop in the yards in our neighborhood. These dogs have destroyed every flower I have planted. I spoke to the woman about this and she just looked at me and walked off.

    • Bruce Brown

      Pat, I can sympathize with your situation. It’s the same here!!! I saw on the news a few days ago where an 84 year old woman in Florida was having the same problem. Every day a lady and her dog would come down the street and upon reaching the elderly lady’s yard the dog would find it’s marked territory and proceed to TCB in her yard. The old lady asked the dog lady to please stop her dog from fertilizing and watering her grass and flowers. The request was to no avail. Thursday came and it was the same usual routine. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The elderly lady went out and picked up the pile in her hand and proceeded to smear it all over the dog lady’s face. Some people just don’t care that their dog poop stinks until you stick their nose in it.

  • don

    cemeteries are for the sacred. For those that want to walk the dog or go jogging the city has provided walking trails for that purpose. I do not have a problem though with people just taking QUIET walks in Eastside.

  • Chloe

    I say walk at Hinson Lake. It’s close to there.

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