Today I went to visit my sister Phyllis.
She’s buried in a cemetery in Valhalla. I went with 3 of her 4 sons. We stood over her grave and tried to connect that flat hard stone with the woman who was always laughing and making us laugh. She was beautiful until the day she died. (If she’s reading this she’ll be glad I wrote that.)
Even though I put a stone of remembrance on her grave and said a few words to her I really couldn’t feel her presence.
The funny part is that I feel her with me all the time. But there, nada.
Instead I kept thinking about something the cemetery does. It brags.
When you walk into the building there is a glass case with a display of mementos from some of the famous people that are buried there.
In the back of the case there’s a Danny Kaye video. Pretty close to the front there’s a bottle of Knickerbocker beer to represent Jacob Rupert who owned that beer company and incidentally the Yankees.
My nephew Jim was pretty puzzled that front and center was a big metal blade for an electric hand saw. We couldn’t quite figure out what connection that had to the person buried there. And after all, Danny Kaye was way more famous and deserved that prime space. Or so we thought.
Now here’s the mystery. Above the case was a map of the cemetery. We looked at the map and several graves were highlighted. They had Ayn Rand, Tommy Dorsey, Ann Bancroft and Lou Gehrig!
They had no baseball symbolizing Lou Gehrig yet they put a saw blade and a bottle of beer in their case. No video from “The Graduate” and no copy of “The Fountainhead”.
This was the shittiest excuse for a brag that I’ve ever seen.