Tombstone Epitaphs

(Frank) Here we go again, whatever it is. [Laughter] (Deb) Going, going, gone. (Frank) Yeah. (Deb) When you’re gone, how would you like to be remembered Frank? What would you like? (Frank) That wasn’t even meant to be a segway to what she’s going to talk about next. (Deb) We’re so good. (Frank) I know. (Deb) Of course if you’ve been around as long as we have. The epitaphs, of course this is October, people’s minds turn tombstones of course. They always fascinate me. From the time I was a kid, I love visiting cemeteries and so how people choose to be remembered or how their family chooses to remember them. Those final words, that’s pretty important. What are you going to put on yours Frank? (Frank) [laughs] I have no idea. I was here and now I’m gone. I don’t know. (Deb) I think about it a lot. My friends in Philly, they are on the board for the cemetery there at Laurel Hill and Carol’s always joking that Andy’s going to put his resume on the one side, all the wonderful things he’s done and all about how he portrayed General Meade and all that’ll be in. She said it’ll take $10,000 to carve all that into the side. It’s very interesting. One of my favorites is from out at Dodge City, “Here lies Lester Moore, four slugs from a 44, no less no more.” That’s one of my favorite ones. I don’t know if anything in my life will inspire anything that clever. (Frank) People don’t do that anymore. Used to be. Like you say, it’s fun to go back into the old part of the cemeteries and see what’s there. (Deb) See what they say. It certainly won’t take much to put on my resume. [Laughs] That won’t take what 10 letters or something. Let’s take a look at how some famous people chose to be remembered. It’s October and our thoughts turn to pumpkins, falling leaves, and gravestones. Yes, whether made of marble or iron, they are often artistic and beautiful. The words carved there, essentially our VERY last words, are pretty important. Let’s see what a few folks left for us to ponder: The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer. Like the cover of an old book, its contents worn out, and stript of its lettering and gilding, lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost, for it will, as he believed, appear once more In a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by its Author. The epitaph for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, simply reads, STEEL TRUE, BLADE STRAIGHT. Dean Martin, that funny man with a voice like silk, crooned one last time, EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY SOMETIME. Another sweet sentiment is expressed on the stone of Bonnie Parker, of Bonnie and Clyde fame: As the flowers are all made sweeter by the sunshine and the dew, so this old world is made brighter by the lives of folks like you. And while we’re on outlaws, Jesse James lies just over the line in Missouri and his untimely death is recounted on his marker, which says, MURDERED BY A TRAITOR AND A COWARD WHOSE NAME IS NOT WORTHY TO APPEAR HERE. Of course, if we listen to the song or watched Brad Pitt’s, The Assassination of Jesse James, we know that the dirty little coward who shot Mr. Howard was Bob Ford. Some of the markers bear warnings, like this one, belonging to a dentist: Stranger! Approach this spot with gravity! John Brown is filling his last cavity. So, dear viewer, now that you are inspired, go forth in the brisk October air to the graveyard, and read the last words of those gone before. Just make sure you’re home before dark.
(Frank) Time to go. I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) We’ll see you somewhere (Frank and Deb) Around Kansas.