Monday, August 19, 2013

32239. John "Bones" Fogarty

Besides the fact that John J. Fogarty shares a name with someone famous, this was one cool tombstone. And no, it's not the John Fogerty you're thinking of, the one from Credence Clearwater Revival who went onto a a solo career and totally blew away the audience when I went to see him at the Comcast Center, or whatever the heck they call it now. No, he spells his name with an "e" and not an "a," although he did have that song "Centerfield," which has become a recognized anthem for baseball across the country. Which, too, is weird, because the John J. Fogarty I'm thinking of is the one who played for the St. Louis Maroons in 1885. You remember, he went 1 for 8, and then spent the rest of his career in the minors?

This John J. Fogarty has, first of all, a nickname: Bones. I'm guessing he was skinny, but it could have been one of those ironic names. For instance, ain't nobody calling me Bones these days, but it would be funny if someone did. But there's more to Bones' stone than just the nickname. He's got some great symbolism on his gravemarker, some religious, some grounding him in Boston, a drum, a car with the words "Happy Trails" underneath it, but I think the coolest aspect of his tombstone is the hammer seemingly cemented into the top. There's nothing like taking it with you. We interred a few things with my dad that only he and his kids would understand. What a book that would be! Researching the things people bury with loved ones...

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