[GeoStL] Re: HTM#1 Witches Cemetery

  • From: Mike Lusicic <lusicic@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 10:09:30 -0500

- Well, I guess I will have to bring a different perspective to this based on my past. When I was very young, I had a bit of a spooky feeling about cemeteries. But our family had a monument business, and I started working with my dad and grandfather at a very young age. No child labor laws in a family business so to speak. While at first I was very conscious about not stepping on graves, soon it became obvious that when you are carrying a 250 pound sand blasting hopper on your shoulder for a hundred yards, you tend to get a little "sloppy" about where your feet hit the ground. When you are hauling 1,000 pounds of granite around on a hand truck, and have to position it to get it on its foundation and it isn't going to move much once you set it down, you tend to move where you have to, which brings you even more into the chances of stepping on a grave. This wasn't disrespect, it was just the way things had to be. So a lot of the old taboos I had when I was younger went away as I grew up and worked in cemeteries.

One of the things that I did always take time to do as my dad was sandblasting in a death date would be to walk around and read the various monuments. Of course being in the business, I was also looking for the art and technique used on the various monuments, and so it was always an interesting thing to do. I got to recognize my dad's work. Later I got to recognize my own.... and improvements in my own technique. If you want to see a sample of my work, go to the fountain at Keiner Plaza downtown. On the west side of the fountain is the dedication inscribed in the stone of the rim.

We never did do anything disrespectful in my opinion. We tried to leave a very fine "monument" in every sense of that word whenever we worked on one. We also had many sad tasks when vandals were at work in a cemetery. While many people see toppled monuments which translated to desecration, we not only saw that, we saw irreplaceable works of art trashed. It is amazing how fragile a piece of rock is and how easily they are damaged. But we spent hours resetting monuments on foundations. Lifting heavy top pieces onto base pieces. Grinding stone to make a slurry and mixing with cement or epoxy to repair gouges as best we could. You had to really get creative and put in a  lot of effort to really repair what a few moments of mindless "entertainment" caused.

Do I think there should be caches in cemeteries. Yes I do. I think people should see them and be able to live through the history and enjoy the art of the monuments. That art is dying too. All the cemeteries want flush to the ground stones so they can run the mowers over the top and not have to trim around the individual stones. A very costly process, and they are about profit as much as anyone else.

But just like anywhere else, since most cemeteries are on private property, you will need permission to place the cache. And if it is a Native American burial ground, you just are not going to get permission, so that is not a factor. I am not really sure that placing a cache is going to stop any vandalism though. Most of that happens in the middle of the night, and there are not going to be many cachers out there at that time. Plus the kind of folks that do that are not checking gc.com to see if there are caches in the cemetery, and most are not going to be seeing what activity is happening there during the day. I would really be surprised if it made any difference in that area, and any correlation is purely anecdotal IMHO.

So there is my $0.02. Thank you for letting me stand on my soapbox.

Jack Konecker wrote:
We had a private ceremony at the cemetary when my
mom passed away last year.  After the minister left,
my dad, sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew, Elaine
and I all joined hands and danced around her grave.
The uninitiated would think that disrespectful, but
it was really out of respect.  You see, my mom brought
a lot of Danish traditions into our family and one
that we all cherished was dancing around the Christmas
tree singing a short Danish song (the words of which we
didn't understand, but it was a lot of fun), just
before we opened presents.  That song embodied
what my mom stood for and it was essentially our last
good-bye to her.  (Strangely enough, immediately after we
stopped singing, the sky opened up with a good rainfall)
> From: James Shilt <webscouter@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: geocaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 23:10:30 -0500
> I hope when I die that folks come by and laugh and remember my life with shouts and giggles.
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