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Sami Swings.

Jesus is My Swingset

Field review by the editors.

Louisville, Kentucky

The ultimate sculptural expression of "Buddy Christ" (and the fun afterlife that awaits) may be the tombstone of three-year-old Samantha Ann McDonald, who in 2006 rode her tricycle into the family pool. The memorial, by Maine sculptor Tom White, is officially titled "Sami Swings," and was designed as a public expression of the McDonald family's spiritual faith.

The grave monument incorporates an elaborate life-size bronze statue of the upper half of Jesus, laughing heartily, as he leans out of heaven (identified as "Sam's Rock") and holds the ropes of a swing supporting the barefooted, smiling Sami. The words to her favorite song, Jesus Loves Me, are engraved, along with outline handprints of her, her brother and sister, and her signature, with a smiley face drawn in the middle of the "a."

The grave site was chosen because it is shaded under the gnarled branches of an old wingnut tree.

According to Sami's mom, the little girl's favorite expression was a McDonald's commercial catchphrase, I'm lovin' it!, which her parents believe describes the way she currently feels in heaven.

Sami Swings.

Also see: Cave Hill Cemetery

Jesus is My Swingset

Cave Hill Cemetery

701 Baxter Ave., Louisville, KY
Cave Hill Cemetery. From the Cave Hill Cemetery main entrance, at the corner of Baxter Ave. and E. Broadway, follow the road with the solid line into the cemetery for a half-mile. Turn left just after you pass the building with a tower -- the cemetery offices -- on the left. Drive through the parking lot and turn right. Drive up the hill, make the first right, then a quick left. You'll quickly see a short, dead-end road on the left, not much more than a parking spot. Park there, look down the hill, and you'll see the Swingset tombstone.
Daily 8-4:45. Gated after hours. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
Constitution Elm - Historic Stump, Corydon, IN - 23 mi.

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