Tuesday, September 10, 2013

33298. Donald Mason

There it is again! "I did it my way!" We can't have three guys in the same cemetery doing it their way! There's just not enough room for it. Besides, Donald Mason here was married to a woman named "Jackie" Mason. He could have gone down a long road of jokes about the differences between Italians and Jews, but no, he had to quote Sinatra like Hersch and Delamere.

That's it. I'm putting my foot down. We cannot have any more "I did it my ways." SHEESH!

Monday, September 9, 2013

33288. Paul Delamere

Wait a second...that says "I did it my way." It's the second stone I've found in the little Hull Village Cemetery that says the same exact thing. After 32,000 stones I find one guy, Lenny Hersch, doing it his way, and then within viewing distance I find another guy, Paul Delamere, doing the same? Wow, what are the chances of that?

I guess you never know. I know Frank Sinatra was huge, and an influence on many lives, but two guys in the same cemetery doing it their way? That's just too cool.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

33198. William Guerriero

For many, it's the Dry Dock. For others - perhaps, if there are any centenarians hanging around town - it was Eastman's Studio Inn. It was even a bowling alley at one point, which explains why the building directly next to the big hotel at Nantasket Beach is so long and thin, stretching the width of the area between the separated northbound and southbound lanes of Nantasket Avenue.

In William Guerriero's time, it was the creation of his alter ego, Billy Mitchell, the stage name of the singer who made it big with "Oceans of Love," the words carved into the representation of a 45 RPM record, under the fret of a rock-a-billy style guitar. He called it Post Time, and he made it famous through his own musical talent. When Billy died in 1978, a month after a blizzard nearly destroyed the town, the rock could have died with him, but his venue, if not in his chosen name, lived on, and the music kept pulsing on.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

33104. Ed Emanuello

Ha! There are people that I know who simply wander the Hull peninsula every day, stopping to say hello to everybody. Some of them are technically insane, but at least a few are just plain, nice people, who enjoy that sort of life. The are the lifeblood, sometimes the gossip conduits, of small towns.

So I believe "Big Ed" Emanuello's gravemarker when it declares him "Everyone's Friend." Aside from the fact that the Emanuellos have been around for quite a few decades in town, long enough to put down townie-like roots, such personalities just happen in Hull. I'm not saying Ed was wandering aimlessly up and down Nantasket Avenue looking for people to talk to, but my guess s he had his favorite haunts, like so many locals, in so many small towns, in so much of America.

Friday, September 6, 2013

32893. John Glawson

Hmm, the interesting thing to me about this stone is the absence of any words. John Glawson was a lifesaver, but not a traditional one, wearing blue and rowing with his mates to rescues. He was a one man rescue squad, living on Bumpkin Island with his family, plucking endangered people from the bay one by one.

He had his brush with fame. Maritime historian and storyteller Edward Rowe Snow became fascinated with him, and wrote several pages' worth of info about him in the Bumpkin Island section of The Islands of Boston Harbor. Yet there is nothing here to tell the tale. Wouldn't it be cool if we could simply include bibliographical references on our tombstones? "Snow, Edward Rowe. The Islands of Boston Harbor. pp 157-160..." I guess today it would be QR codes and mobile websites.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

32838. Marguerite Johns

Good ol' Snooky. "Let my light shine forever." There's even a light bulb. There should be. After all, she practically ran the Hull Municipal Light Plant for decades. She was always there, and I mean always. If any question about the town's electricity came up, we all said the same thing. "Call Snooky, she'll know."

Did I say that some epitaphs are just perfect?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

32799. Leonard Hersch

Some epitaphs are simply perfect.

Lenny Hersch was a superstorm unto himself, a local business owner and politician who stirred the pot in Hull for decades. He was a champion and a villain, but he was never a cross-dresser, as far as I know. Rumors once floated around town that he was, but the only nearness to the truth in that accusation came from the fact that he once was the runner who picked up the cross-dressing acts that played at the famous Showboat on George Washington Boulevard in the middle of the 20th century.

He was a selectman, multiple times, kind of Hull's Billy Martin, being fired by the Yankees and coming back to manage time and again. Lenny was in office, ousted, voted in again, chased out, back in. He ran Fascination, the legalized gambling game at Nantasket Beach. He was beloved by many, disliked by others, but everybody had something to say about Lenny. When he went, in 2008, even those who didn't have him on their holiday card list felt a puff of air go out of the town. Lenny was a character, part of the fabric of the small community that will never be replicated.

So what words did he chose or have chosen for his epitaph? Those of the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra: "I did it my way."

If I could pass on one thing to all future readers of Lenny's tombstone, it is the old axiom that truer words have never, and will never again, be carved into stone.