I devised part of this back in 2017 when someone proposed that the legislature ought to ban coroners from painting crosses on highways where fatalities occurred. The ban idea did not gain traction. The practice was started by former Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend who was the first female coroner elected in South Carolina. Funny how a subject sticks with you . . .
Little Crosses Used to in the South you might catch a coroner with a can of spray paint claiming the road where a death had occurred. She'd throw down a cutout of a cross, like a bigger version of the letter cutouts you get down at the hardware store when you need to paint your house number on your brand-new Post-Master-Approved hope-ready mailbox after your old one was run down by a car full of high-school exuberance, drunken on the rites of Spring. She'd shake the paint can until the little ball-bearing inside stopped rattling around then suddenly release a white spray across the cutout etching not an X-marks-the-spot cross but a Jesus cross which accounts for why the Jesus-haters tried to make her stop, leaving only us to decide what kind of little crosses are stenciled across the memory of our lives. - Tommy Stringer, 2022