Monday, September 30, 2013

36213. Newcomb Lincoln


We may never know the full story behind the life of Newcomb Lincoln. He had a dad who served in the military, an older brother and a younger sister. His dad, Jerome, died around thirty years old when Newcomb was a teenager, and at some point Newcomb became a sailor. His mom, Nancy, outlived him.

Oftentimes when dad died, and mother remarried, sons ran away. It was a play recast all along the coast in the early 1800s. The easiest way to get away was to head out onto the ocean, where no permanent trails could be found. There is no evidence that states such a story played out with Newcomb, especially as there is no stepfather listed anywhere in the records. But since little else is left, we are left to use our imaginations to piece things together.

No matter what, we know one thing, that Newcomb, like so many young Massachusetts men living along the coast, was "Lost at Sea."

There it is again.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

36063. Myron, Beatrice and Marian Anderson


We tend to forget how far we have come on this planet when it comes to infant mortality. While little Myron made it to eight years old, Beatrice and Marian didn't get beyond their first or second years. Since the early 1950s, we've dropped from 30.46 out of 1,000 infants dying to 5.4, but it's still nothing to gloat about. We're 34th in the world in the category. Infants in Brunei, Macao, Cyprus, Croatia, New Caledonia and more have better chances for survival than their counterparts in the U.S.

The Anderson children lived a half century before these statistics. Consider war, weather, famine and just general uncleanliness and how they affected children in the 1890s. Global estimates state that as many as 200 out of every 1000 children died within their first year at the time. That's one out of every five live births.

For proof, check out your local vital records. Many families didn't even bother to name children for the first year of their lives in the late 1800s. When a child was taken so young, it must have felt exactly like the Andersons put it, as if the wee one was "Plucked from Earth to bloom in Heaven." The symbolism of the dove falling to earth, etched above the names, is also quite powerful.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

36049. Sara Lee Woods


At first glance, I had to laugh out loud. A young woman named Sara Lee with the words "Piece of Cake, Piece of Pie" for an epitaph? Well, nobody does it like Sara Lee!

But the words have more meaning. In popular culture, they come from a Jennifer Lopez movie called Enough, which really never got great reviews, and as such is little known. In the film, Lopez, an abused mom called Slim, goes on the run before learning to fight back against her aggressor. If it gave us nothing else, the movie gave us the exchange, which is now a permanent part of our culture, thanks to its enshrinement in the online Urban Dictionary. The words "piece of cake" and "piece of pie" are spoken by two people who use the phrases as code words for "I love you." 

And, guessing by the preponderance of the usage of those three famous little words on tombstones around the world, and probably on English-speaking planets all around the galaxy, I'm guessing the quote is being used here in much the same way.

Friday, September 27, 2013

36044. Joseph Litchfield


I've spent a lifetime, or at least an adult lifetime, driving by the Beechwood Cemetery in Cohasset, Massachusetts, without stopping to say hello. Whether I've been on my way from Hull to Scituate via back roads (a seriously bad habit of mine, avoiding well-trodden paths), seeking the back entrance to Wompatuck State Park or looking for viewing access of the Aaron River Reservoir, I've passed in stony silence, garnering the same in return.

I have to say, though, after walking it, it seems as if we've already met a thousand times. A Litchfield in Cohasset? Who'd a thunk it? The names were as familiar as expected to someone who lived in the neighboring towns for most of his life. So, too, were the three little letters etched beneath the name of Joseph W. (and on the other side of the marker, beneath the name George A.: G.A.R.

Union veterans served at the right time for the formation of a brotherhood-type organization. In Victorian age America transportation and communication systems were the best they had ever been, and idle time was in fashion. People could gather like never before, for fun and shared experiences with people of similar interests or common backgrounds. So it was with the men who fought for the North in the Civil War, the members of the Grand Army of the Republic.

In Joe Litchfield's day (although there are probably ten to twelve still living in Cohasset and Scituate today!) the three little letters spoke volumes, though, sadly, today they don't inspire as much reverence as they should. Joe served aboard the USS Minnesota as a sailor, seeing some "fearsome fighting," according to the 1893 Cohasset town history. George served with Company F, 32nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and obviously died during the conflict.

G.A.R.: three little words we should never forget, but mostly have.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

35687. Mary Jane Robbins


You just have to add six words - three before and three after - to fully understand the chosen words of Mary Jane Robbins, "More than all the jelly beans." Add "I love you" and "in the world" to the beginning and end, and you'll see what I mean.

As if that weren't enough, the family added an open jar of jelly beans in the upper left corner. Sweet! I hope she's not buried next to President Reagan.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

35490. Lawrence Gilligan


In a weird way, I was hoping there was nothing written on the verso side of Gilligan's stone. I was really hoping, with most of my might (not all), that he was just Gilligan. The Gilligan. Little Buddy.

Alas, he was Lawrence Gilligan.

That's no fault of his own. History is somewhat replete with famous Gilligans, some of whom played soccer in England, at least one who was an author, and then there was John Joseph Gilligan, a U.S. Marine who earned a Silver Star and had a Navy ship named in his honor. That's some street cred right there.

Yet, if you asked the average American on the street to tell you who Gilligan was, they would inevitably come out with the enigmatic single-named first mate of Captain Jonas T. Grumby's Minnow. Red shirt, white pants, white cap. I refrained from what would have been a faux pas when I stopped myself from whomping the top of the stone with my hat, a la the Skipper. It was the only homage I could think of at the moment, but it was not appropriate at all. That was another Gilligan.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

35439. Donald Gaynor


When I first saw the epitaph of Donald Gaynor in the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Weymouth, Mass. - "We'd rather by flying our K-35 Bonanza" - I thought, bemusedly, isn't that a little specific?

When I reflected on it later, it struck me that it was the same length and cadence of a million bumper stickers I've seen on cars ("My child was student of the month at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School!"). And when it comes to the final bell tolling, well, sure, I can agree with the sentiment. We can all probably give an "I'd rather" when faced with the question or death. It's like the Eddie Izzard bit. "Cake or Death!" Ooh, cake, please. Or the Monty Python bit in Life of Brian. "Crucifixion?" "No, freedom, actually."

All joking aside, a passion that follows to the grave is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, I have yet to slip the surly bonds of earth behind the controls of any aircraft. The best I could do is "I'd rather be driving my 2006 Ford Fusion!" Beats the alternative for the moment, anyway.

Monday, September 23, 2013

35243. Dominick Domanico


It's funny how things fall some times. My father wanted to name my little brother after his father, and give him a middle name that paid homage to his best friend and my brother's godfather-to-be (got all that?). That would have made him Dominic Nicholas, but my mother would have nothing to do with it. She had it flipped so he became Nicholas Dominic. She didn't want the poor kid saddled with the nickname Dominicnic (or a nicknickname).

But some families strictly stand on that tradition. I knew a David David. Peter Peeters played goalie for the Boston Bruins. Andy Andy was a fictional serial killer/stalker on Cheers. It happens. Parents name their kids based on familial guidelines, not caring for the consequences, even on TV.

And you can call me biased on this one. I think there is a lyrical feeling behind the flow of the words "Dominick Domanico." That's one repetitive name I wouldn't have minded having in life. Then again, if my parents had stuck with the Italian and used the same names (I'm named for two of my dad's brothers), I would be Giovanni Giuseppi Galluzzo. With that name I could be piloting gondolas around Venice singing 'Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu." Instead I got John Joseph, which most of my friends pronounced "Johnjofis" when I was little.

Ma nudge...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

35180. Patrick Henry


Well, it wasn't him, but I'll bet he was asked from time to time to say the quote: "Give me liberty, or give me death!" He had to do it. He was, after all, Patrick Henry.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

34254. William Daly


Having finished reading the Hull Village Cemetery, I moved onto New Jersey. You know, like you do.

I was working on a book project, called to the Navesink area, and awoke early one morning to spend a little time (notice I didn't say "kill some time") at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery. There, I ran into my second balloonist of the year.

William Daly, with the 13th Balloon Company, was on his way to the front in France in November 1918 (if he was still with his unit at the time) when a surprising thing happened: peace broke out. A total of six American balloon companies were on their way there when, suddenly, their services were no longer needed.

It was a good thing, too. Of the 1,642 ascensions made by American balloon troops in World War I, only 1,594 balloon crews came back down of their own volition. Three percent of the ascensions ended in combat losses.

I'm sure Mr. Daly made a success of life after the military, but what an odd trade to bring back home.

Friday, September 20, 2013

34129. Smith/Keith


If, like me, when you first saw the words on the Smith/Keith gravestone, you thought they had misspelled the famous phrase "Che sara,, sara," you would be half right.

If you think in Italian, or Latin, as Christopher Marlowe probably did when he wrote Doctor Faustus, this spelling is generally correct. But if you think in Spanish, you probably scratched your head a bit, envisioning the words as "Que sera, sera." Now, if you're thinking in that other language of romance, Doris Day, well, that's a little bit "Que sera, sera" as well. And that's probably where we get confused; we think Doris Day before Doctor Faustus on most days. So it goes in America.

But, no matter how you spell it, it comes out meaning the same: "Whatever will be, will be." And so it goes in cemeteries all around the world.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

34096. Eleftherios and Mary Andriotis


There's nothing out of the ordinary on the Andriotis' gravestone, it's what's in it. The stone has an arched window cut through it that acts as a mini display room. The family can open it with a lock from the rear, and can create a rotating exhibit of their lives, a really novel way of looking at the mourning and remembrance process.

I'm telling you, soon it will be QR codes and push-button PowerPoint presentations.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

34037. Eileen Gillis


Jim Gillis was a good man. Better than most, by like 99 percent.

I knew him as two things: a World War II D-Day vet, and the ultimate hometown do-gooder. I can't tell you how many times he stopped me in town and implored me to get involved, to do good things for my community. He was the kind of guy I was simply proud to know. I miss him. So does Hull.

I had no idea of the hurt he carried inside. He wrote this epitaph for his wife Eileen:

I often wonder why my pal chose me; 
As it turned out, she was mt need to be.
I now reflect with the passage of time
That she was never, never truly mine.
The aura that emanated was larger than life.
Every man should have such a wonderful wife.
She gave of herself without restriction
Never succumbed to her affliction.
She belonged to an exclusive sorority:
Faith, hope, love and His supreme authority.
Advice to her children concerned love and caring,
Always positive with very little bewaring.
Not concerned of dying and physical strife,
Just afraid she had not given enough to life.
A decree was sent from heaven above.
She was my need to be and to love.

Amen.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

33720. Frank Burns


So, you're cruising through life, hitting 55 years of age. It's been a good run. Then, suddenly, Hollywood smacks you upside the head.

Your name is Francis Burns, but your friends call you Frank. You sit down to watch the new TV series based on the movie M*A*S*H, and in episode 1/18, your namesake, Frank Burns, M.D., gets drunk. It's bad enough that the TV Frank Burns is a doofus, the foil of the beloved main characters of Hawkeye and Trapper. But then out it comes. Burns says that his brother used to call him "Ferret Face." For the next three-and-a-half decades, your name is tied to the iconic all-thumbs military doctor, and you run the risk of sharing his nickname. And you know that even if people don't say it, they're probably thinking it.

I don't know if our Frank was ever called Ferret Face, and I hope not. All I know is that Hollywood should know that it ruins lives! It should check the phone books across the United States and see just how many people it's impacting when it chooses to demean a common name.

Think first, Hollywood. Think first.

Monday, September 16, 2013

33713. James Russell


I want to know how you get a nickname like "Riverboat" Russell did. There really are two ways, as far as I can see.

There's the literal way. Although he lived in the wrong century to be in its heyday, James Russell could have been a riverboat captain. He could have gone west to the great rivers and driven one of the big old sidewheel steamers. But hey, there are riverboats on the Charles, in Boston, even if they don't quite fit the opulence of the days of old. Maybe he ran from from the Cambridgeside Galleria out to the harbor. Not as glamorous, but more than I've ever done.

But the nickname "Riverboat" typically stands for a gambler, either literally or figuratively. Think of Bret Maverick, from the 1950's TV show or the 1994 movie. One of the most recent nationally known examples is "Riverboat" Ron Rivera, head coach of the NFL's Carolina Panthers, known for his super-aggressive defensive play calling. I suspect that there was a little alliteration at play as well, as it had to be with our friend "Riverboat" Russell.

Either way, I want a nickname. I don't know if it ends up on my tombstone. Perhaps this is just the super geek in me wanting to be seen as cool, but that will be a book for another day.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

33553. The Hunt Family


Is the "H" for Hull, or for "Hunt?" The Hunt family stone is just that, a huge capital "H," and my only confusion comes with the words below the little brown wiener dog left on the pedestal supporting it: "God's country." If the "H" is for the family, cool. If it's for the town, well, I can see that, and I don't just say that as a townie at heart. Hull is a peninsula awash with the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean. For someone who enjoys such a life, it is God's country. You may have your Rocky Mountains, your deep woods of Michigan; give me a storm-tossed sea any day, and I'll be just fine.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

33503. Vincent G. Brown


Vincent was one of 28 who lost their lives to a single engineering failure, recognized a half century after their deaths by President Barack Obama.

Vincent was working aboard an offshore radar platform known as a Texas Tower for its similarities to oil drilling rigs seen in the Gulf of Mexico. His duty station, Texas Tower 4, was built in Portland, Maine, and towed to its place off Long Island, New York, in 1957. During transportation to position, rough seas caused structural problems that would herald the doom of the men who served on the tower. The Air Force tried top repair them, but successive storms in 1959 and 1960, including Hurricane Donna, kept up the assault. As if the vibration from the constant rotation of the radar system, meant to give the Air Force a thirty-minute jump on Soviet bombers should they arrive, the tower swayed with the power of the waves.

Weakened by the battering of the sea, "Old Shaky," fell into the sea during a winter storm on January 15, 1961, dropping all 28 men then working inside into the freezing cold waters. No one survived. And so Vincent Brown leaves us with the harrowing words "Lost at sea from the Texas Tower." Now you know the tale.

What's amazing to me is that the same story unfolded 110 years earlier in nearby waters, and we didn't heed it. The first Minot's Lighthouse dropped into the sea on April 16-17, 1851 (no one knows for sure on which side of midnight it fell). Both towers featured structures on long legs sunk into the earth. Both were supposed to allow water to rush through those legs, rather than capture the sea's wrath full force. Both fell into the sea when the legs gave way. Both claimed lives. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, as the saying goes. In this case, it cost the lives of 28 hard-working men, and caused grief that flowed exponentially outward. How needless.

Friday, September 13, 2013

33374. Grace Coleman


It would have been simple enough to take Grace Coleman's tombstone and toss the words "Amazing Grace" on them, like the people she loved did. I'm sure she's not the first Grace in the world to be so remembered. But I am here to tell you that Grace was, indeed, amazing.

She was very close to my family; in fact, she practically was family. She lived to her mid-seventies, which is no miracle, of course. But she decided right about the time she hit the eighth decade to get involved in local politics. She served as a Hull selectwoman against all odds, in the era of Lenny Hersch. Brash and bombastic Lenny was countered on the board by petite, Catholic, god-fearing and ancient Grace, as comedic a set-up as any sitcom writer could ever produce. Sometimes, when Lenny ranted and raved, Grace fell asleep. Hull selectmen's meetings then, as now, made for riveting weekly television.

So the words fit, but to those who knew her, the depiction of the hat with the feather in it above hr name is pure gold. That was Grace's hat, the one she wore any time she ventured out-of-doors, as any well-bred American woman born in 1914 would do. Grace was amazing, yes, but she was kind, strong-willed, loving and still makes me smile to this day, more than two decades after her passing.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

33468. Joe Boudreau


Now here's somebody of whom I could write a book, not just a few paragraphs. I once hauled several 50-pound packages of asphalt singles to his third story roof because the one-armed Vietnamese roofer he hired to do the job couldn't handle that part of it. I'll never forget the ridiculously hot moment I stood on that roof and looked down at Joe, as he asked me if I wanted something to drink. I said yes. He said, "Which one, Tab or Fresca?"

I said, "Where do you live, 1973?"

Joe was always hiring me to do odd jobs around his house, and truthfully I would have done every one of them for free, had I not been taught to accept cash offered as a token of respect to the giver. Joe was overly generous. No matter what the task, I was happy to help: pruning, weeding, digging, hauling, hanging ceiling tiles, whatever.

When Joe died, we headed out into Boston Harbor in the depth of winter to spread his ashes on one of the islands. Joe had worked there for years as a night watchman for the Metropolitan District Commission police force, now as gone as Joe. His home was the islands, and even his house stared straight out at them. He even had one of the creepiest encounters with the famous ghost of the "Lady in Black" I've ever heard told.

There are so many other stories. When we were kids, we knew him as "JoeBaJoe," just because that's what it sounded like to our little ears. He became part-owner in a Thai restaurant in Hingham that did very well for a while. He hired my brother as a delivery man. When Joe died, his collection of maritime history books went to the Hull Public Library. They, having no need for them, gave them to me. I was surprised to see how many of the books I had personally written that boomeranged back to me by way of Joe's collection. He always told me he was proud of me for my accomplishments; this was proof/

Joe was like an uncle to me, forty years my senior, but as good a friend as I have ever had. So when I see his military-issue marker, "AIC US Air Force Korea," I say, no way. No way in hell. That barely scratches the surface of the story of Joe. And so it is for the thousands more I've visited along the way in this study.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

33368. Al Kardoos


There are those special businesses in everyone's hometown that just make you smile. When I think of little Hull when I was little, I flash back to Ratenbury's, So-Low's, Webster Shore Lanes, Curtis Compact and Cheapskate Charlie's. They're all gone now, everywhere except in my head.

Add to that list Al's Spaghetti House. Back when Paragon Park was king, when the Nantasket Beach night was lit by the spinning colors of the Round-Up and soundtracked by the recurring screams from the Giant Coaster, Al's was as good a late night joint to be in as any for grabbing that post-Bermuda Triangle meal.

So there it is. Albert Joseph Kardoos was the man behind "Al's Spaghetti House." And I don't know if it's true, but I swear that the caricature carved into the base of the stone, of Al in his chef's gear, was done by the guy who used to do the imagery for the old Building 19 bargain store ads. But I could certainly be wrong. Either way, not a bad way to go into history, with a cartoon! I think, though, that I'd be worried about what mine would look like.

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.

Whatevs.

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.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

32784. Albert Minevitz


Hull's Jewish population once ran the town, and what an era it was. Much residual good still lingers, and many of the families from the heyday are still around the community. There's a lot of reflection happening now, as the Hull Jews look back on about a century of local habitation and progress.

Among the many families are the Minevitzes...zeses...es. How do you pluralize Minevitz? No matter, it's their contributions that count most.

Albert J. Minevitz, in my youth, was one of the names that seemed to be always in the local news in a positive way. I was 16 when he died, so I doubt we met, but with his own attributed quote on his stone, I think I would have liked him: "I have tried to be the best husband, father, son, son-in-law, friend and a perfect gentleman. I hope I was. And you could bank your life on my word."

Honesty and integrity go hand-in-hand, and it seems Mr. Minevitz tried to live that life in spades. I can only hope when my time comes I have the right to make the same claim as he did.

Monday, September 2, 2013

32776. Sam Postbrief


In probably the most artistic abstract design I've seen to date Sam Postbrief is remembered, at one of the highest points of the Hull cemetery.

The stone, rough-hewn, is split down the middle, but joined by three separate plaques that tell the story of Sam: "This memorial marks a repository of sacred books. It is dedicated to Sam Postbrief, 1947-1996. Bibliophile & Homme Extraordinaire..."

I've already spoken of the power of books in our lives, and the way they hold sway over us. I'd be hard-pressed to say which book I would bring with me into the afterlife if forced to bring just one; there are just so many that mean the world to me. And I'm just thinking of secular titles. My guess is that Sam's "sacred" books are just that, religious in nature. But sacredness is, of course, in the mind of the beholder.

Part of the beauty of Sam's memorial, aside from his wife's personal dedication, is that it sits on the very edge of bushes at the edge of the cemetery that threaten to envelop it, a bit of nature lovingly reaching around and embracing it. It makes for a bucolic scene, when taken together, as beautiful a memorial as I have come across.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

32733. Zara Colten


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.