Westside Cemetery
60 Stryker Road
Scottsville, New York 14546


 Westside Cemetery

Newly opened in 2009,
Westside Cemetery offers
a scenic park setting and
other ammenities

 Owned and Operated by the Grove Place Cemetery Association
Westside is located approximately 5 miles southwest of Grove Place Cemetery at the corner of Stryker and Chili-Scottsville Road, across from the Chili American Legion Post. The cemetery was officially opened and dedicated with a ceremony conducted by the Chili American Legion Post on Veteran’s Day 2008. Westside currently has 8 acres of developed and landscaped property available for the public, with another 18 acres reserved for future development. Either call or send an email to the Sales Manager for more information.

 

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  • Death of the poet Walt Whitman

    Death of the poet Walt Whitman

    By Rhys Griffiths

    March 26th,1892
    [[{"fid":"28166","view_mode":"float_right","fields":{"format":"float_right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Walt Whitman, 1887. Copyright Alamy","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"Walt Whitman, 1887. Copyright Alamy"},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Walt Whitman, 1887. Copyright Alamy","title":"Walt Whitman, 1887. Copyright Alamy","class":"media-element file-float-right"}}]]Published in The United States Review in September 1855, an appreciation of the poet Walt Whitman’s collection Leaves of Grass opened by exclaiming: ‘An American bard at last! … his voice bringing hope and prophecy to the generous races of young and old.’ Unusually, the author of the review was Whitman himself, offering a positive assessment of his work that was lacking elsewhere. The New Criterion had called Leaves ‘a mass of stupid filth’; the Sunday Press suggested Whitman, then 37, kill himself. In fact, only Whitman’s death could bring an end to Leaves. Now firmly embedded in the canon of American verse, Whitman revised, added and republished the collection for the rest of his life.Walter Whitman was born on May 31st, 1819 in Long Island, New York, the second of nine children and grew up in Brooklyn. He did not receive much in the way of education, working as a printer, schoolteacher and editor before self-publishing Leaves in 1855. He had resolved to respond to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who, in an essay titled ‘The Poet’, asserted that ‘each new age requires a new confession’, and that America needed a poet who, with ‘a whole new experience to unfold’ would ‘tell us how it was with him’. Whitman certainly heeded the call; it was the collection’s overt delight in sensual pleasures (often homosexual), the poet’s own body and the material world – perhaps most obvious in the opening poem, ‘Song of Myself’ – that had so offended its readers. Following Leaves’ publication, Whitman edited Brooklyn’s Daily Times. After the Civil War broke out he published a poem in support of the north and volunteered as a nurse in an army hospital in Washington DC. He got a job as a clerk in the Bureau of Indian Affairs but was fired in 1865, possibly after his superiors discovered that he was the author of Leaves. Whitman suffered a stroke in 1873 and while convalescing in New Jersey was visited by Oscar Wilde. Bedridden, he moved in 1884 to his last home, a house in Camden, New Jersey, today known as Walt Whitman House. He died there in 1892, having finally completed his masterpiece in 1891 (now known as the ‘Deathbed Edition’), the year before his death, writing: ‘L. of G. at last complete – after 33 y’rs of hacking at it, all times & moods of my life.’
  • Lost at Sea: The Dangers of Emigration

    Seeking a new life when poverty forced them from their homes, Victorian emigrants were at the mercy of others.

  • The Search for the Soul

    What is the soul, where does it come from and where does it go when we die? Such questions have continued to fascinate since the early modern period. The answers that were produced were never decisive, but were often surprisingly creative, as Richard Sugg demonstrates.

  • Portrait of the Author as a Historian: Yukio Mishima

    Portrait of the Author as a Historian: Yukio Mishima

    By Alexander Lee

    Angered by his native country’s rush towards western-style modernisation, the acclaimed Japanese author committed a shocking act of protest. Alexander Lee reveals the journey that led to such an extreme conclusion.
    [[{"fid":"28881","view_mode":"float_right","fields":{"format":"float_right","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Way of the samurai: Mishima on the day of his suicide. Ⓒ AFP/Getty Images.","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Way of the samurai: Mishima on the day of his suicide. Ⓒ AFP/Getty Images.","class":"media-element file-float-right"}}]]Early on the morning of November 25th, 1970, Yukio Mishima put the finishing touches to his novel The Decay of the Angel, at his home in Tokyo. Carefully setting the manuscript aside, he then went to bathe and dress. He had chosen his clothes carefully: a brown uniform of his own design, a hachimaki (stylised headband) and a pair of white gloves. Once he was satisfied with his appearance, he picked up his sword and left the house. Together with four young members of the ‘Shield Society’ (a private army he had founded a few years earlier), he marched to the Ichigaya barracks, the eastern headquarters of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces, where he had an appointment with the commandant, General Kanetoshi Mashita. Once admitted to Mashita’s office, they immediately took him hostage and barricaded the door. They demanded that all the soldiers on the base assemble in front of the building. By noon, the troops (and members of the press) were there. Mishima strode out on to the balcony and began to speak. Attacking the ‘spinelessness’ of Japan’s postwar constitution, he urged the soldiers to rise up in rebellion. But his words were drowned out by the jeering of the crowd. After seven minutes, Mishima gave up. There would be no coup d’état. He went back inside. Calmly sitting on the floor, he pulled out his sword and drove it into his abdomen. As he slumped forward, one of his friends, Masakatsu Morita, went to complete the seppuku ritual by cutting Mishima’s head off. But Morita failed. When he, too, had disembowelled himself, another accomplice, Hiroyasu Koga, stepped forward and beheaded Mishima instead. Spiritual deathMishima’s suicide was as much about history as it was about politics. Despite his success as a writer (Mishima was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize), he had always felt alienated from modern Japanese society. Born into an old samurai family, he had been taught to revere bushido (‘the way of the warrior’), with its emphasis on honour, courage and selflessness. Yet even as a child he had recognised that the days of the samurai were over. Since the Meiji Restoration (1868), which brought an end to the Shogunate, all that had been swept away. Japan had opened up; it had modernised; and its military had been reformed along western lines. It had won some impressive victories over the following decades, defeating the Russian navy at the Battle of Tsushima (1905) and wrestling Manchuria from Chinese rule (1931). Even Mishima was caught up in the resulting tide of patriotic fervour. Although declared unfit for service, he had longed to join the army during the Second World War and always regretted not dying for his emperor in battle. He believed, nevertheless, that the true Japanese spirit – the spirit of the samurai – had been lost. In its place, a culture of selfishness and materialism had taken hold. As time went on, it only got worse. The Japanese surrender (August 15th, 1945), the emperor’s repudiation of his divinity (January 1st, 1946), the renunciation of war (May 3rd, 1947) and the assimilation of American habits all testified to the bankruptcy of the Japanese soul.Several of Mishima’s early works explored his sense of cultural estrangement. In his semi-autobiographical novel Confessions of a Mask (1949) he told the story of Kochan, a small and physically weak boy who struggles to fit into prewar Japanese society. Obsessed with masculinity, death and honour, and tormented by latent homosexual desires, he develops a false personality to conceal his ‘true’ self from the world. By the early 1960s, however, Mishima’s seclusion had given way to a desire to resist modernity more actively. In The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (1963), he examined the alienation of the young Noburu Kuroda from the corrupt, western ways of his mother. At first, he sees hope in his mother’s new lover, the sailor Ryuki Tsukazaki, who appears as an embodiment of selfless heroism. But when he learns that Ryuki is going to abandon the sea to marry his mother, Noburu and his friends decide to kill him.This mentality underpinned Mishima’s attempted coup. In the manifesto he had prepared a few days earlier, he related how he and his fellow conspirators had ‘watched Japan become drunk on prosperity and fall into an emptiness of the spirit’. Believing that only in the military ‘was the real Japan … the true spirit of the samurai preserved’, they had resolved to ‘awaken’ the troops and put an end to decline. TranscendenceIt would, however, be a mistake to suggest that Mishima wanted merely to restore the past. Much as he admired bushido, he knew that the samurai were rooted in the historical conditions that had prevailed during the Edo period (1603-1868). Even though it might be salutary to study their ways, he argued, ‘learning from history should never mean fastening on a particular aspect of a particular era and using it as a model to reform a particular aspect of the present’.Instead, Mishima wished to bring about a spiritual re-awakening that would help the Japanese transcend their recent history. Although the samurai, as a warrior class, had emerged from specific (unrepeatable) historical circumstances, Mishima recognised that bushido had developed out of a timeless set of spiritual beliefs. These had their origins in Buddhism. Following its ‘official’ introduction to Japan in 552, Buddhism had been combined with the indigenous Japanese folk religion (Shinto). After the Meiji restoration, however, Buddhism was denigrated as a ‘foreign’ importation and formally separated from Shinto, which was transformed into an instrument of state policy. In Mishima’s opinion, this separation was the underlying reason for Japan’s woes. By extension, a rediscovery of Buddhism was the key to its salvation. Seeking samsaraMishima dramatised what he felt was required in his Sea of Fertility tetralogy. Spanning the period 1912-70, it follows the spiritual journey of Shigekuni Honda as he passes through the upheavals of Japan’s recent history. At its heart is an exploration of Buddhist doctrine. The starting point is the belief that everything in the world is shifting and impermanent. As such, any attempt to find lasting happiness or satisfaction in it is doomed to failure. Despite this, human beings keep striving after it all the same. This fruitless longing – which takes the form of sensual desire, ego-driven anger or pleasure-seeking ignorance – produces actions (karma) that result in a renewed existence. In turn, this leads to a painful cycle of death and rebirth (samsara). By awakening to the illusory nature of the world and apprehending the truth of samsara, one could follow the path of righteousness and break free of the cycle. In doing so, one would attain nirvana, a state of perfect bliss, where time has no meaning.  Honda has studied this since his youth and knows the theory inside out. But it is only by observing samsara for himself that he grasps its meaning. Over the course of the first three novels – Spring Snow (1968), Runaway Horses (1970) and The Temple of Dawn (1970) – he witnesses the reincarnation of his childhood friend, Kiyoaki Matsugae, first as a right-wing revolutionary, then as a Thai princess. In turn, they manifest the three types of fruitless longing (lust, anger and ignorance); and they each die unsatisfied at the age of 20. But when, in The Decay of the Angel, Honda encounters the princess’ reincarnation – a teenager named Toru – the importance of samsara finally dawns on him. Hoping to break the cycle, he adopts Toru. If he can help the boy live beyond 20, he thinks, all would be well. But Toru is cruel and Honda begins to lose faith. One day, however, Toru swallows poison. He survives, but loses his sight and withdraws from the world. Honda suddenly remembers that this is how Buddhist literature describes the death of an angel. All becomes clear. He finally understands samsara and sees the illusions of the world for what they are. He knows that he, too, must turn away from them. Forsaking the self, he is ready to die – confident that nirvana awaits.It was to this that Mishima tried to ‘awaken’ the Ichigaya garrison. If they embraced the Buddhist truths that had underpinned bushido, he reasoned, they would embrace selflessness rather than indulgence, death rather than life. They would be ready to elevate Japan above its recent history. But Mishima was indifferent to his failure. Having apprehended these truths himself, he had conquered his selfhood and wasprepared for death. As his head was struck from his body, he – like Honda – entered ‘a place that had no memories, nothing’.
  • Remembrance of Things Past

    The maxim ‘show don’t tell’ is often forgotten when film-makers confront historical horrors, argues Suzannah Lipscomb, as two recent cinema releases demonstrate.

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