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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sales pitching a cemetery

Roselawn Memorial Park, a local privately owned cemetery is up for sale. (SJ-R: Cemetery for sale - Price may be right, but running one is work.) There's a story here, of course, but first:

For a mere $300,000, Roselawn Memorial Park can be yours. [...]
There are 8,900 plots platted and about 1,000 that are occupied. There's plenty of room for expansion - 20 acres, to be precise.

So, on to the story. The year was 1968. The day after my grandpa died, my mom kept me out of school to take me shopping for a proper funeral outfit. I think we went to Zayre where I got a navy blue dress that buttoned up the front with white piping. I also got a pair of white gloves. Unable to wait for the funeral, I had to immediately start wearing the gloves.

After shopping, my mom wanted to drop me off at home so she could pick up my grandma to go the undertaker and make arrangements. However, and not surprisingly, I insisted on tagging along. She agreed, but only if I would remain silent while there. My mom and grandma sat in chairs in front of the undertaker's desk while I sat in a chair in the back of the room being quiet and admiring my new gloves and making sure they stayed white.

It was quite a boring meeting for a 12 year old girl. That is, until the undertaker dropped the "N" word. I remember it like it was just today. I jerked my head up in disbelief and disgust when he said to my grandma, "if you buy a plot at Roselawn, you won't ever have to worry about your husband being buried next to n*****s." (Then, as now, in any context, and even with asterisks, I absolutely HATE that word.)

Despite my fondness for exploring cemeteries, I've only been to Roselawn a few times. The first was when my grandfather passed away in 1968, and again when grandmother passed away in 1972. Then, one time in the early 90s my mom and I traipsed my daughters out there on a sunny Saturday afternoon. We quickly found my grandparents' plot, stood for a few minutes, and left.

The entire time we were there, my eyes were scanning the markers for the names of any black families I might have known. I saw none.

Posted by Marie at June 23, 2007 4:52 PM


Get over yourself. You think because there are no names you recognized, there are no black families buried there. What is the point to me wasting my time reading this?

Posted by: at June 23, 2007 6:40 PM

So, unnamed Internet tough guy, are there any black folks buried there?

I find it laughable that you say this was a pointless post not worth your time, yet you somehow summoned the courage to leave a comment.

You, pal, are the one who needs to get over one's self.

Posted by: Anonymous Communist at June 23, 2007 7:20 PM