Covington’s Famous Son

Walker Percy — who was born in Birmingham, AL, spent his formative years with his uncle William Alexander Percy in Greenville, MS, and earned his MD from Columbia — lived in Covington, LA, from 1950 until his death in 1990.  He has long been one of my favorite writers. Today, Ginger and I went exploring for traces of his life here.

We haven’t found his home, yet. But several sources indicated that he was buried in the cemetery at St. Joseph Abbey about three miles north of town. So with the assistance of the handy iPhone, we headed off in that direction.

We had no idea what to expect — guards at the gate? Inquisitors lurking in the parking lot? As it turns out, we shouldn’t have worried. A seminarian pointed us in the direction of the cemetery, where a brother and his friend took us to Percy’s grave site.

After an enlightening 15 minutes or so discussing Catholic influences on Percy’s writing, they left us to contemplate his grave and the ethereal beauty of the abbey grounds.

I can see why one of America’s greatest authors would choose this for his final resting place.

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