Thursday, June 12, 2014

Celebrity Encounters--sort of, Part Two

It was a pleasantly warm day in Boston. After having a very filling lunch with Ward's sister and family, we were deciding how we wanted to spend the afternoon. The lunch had lulled us into a lazy-afternoon-feeling, so we decided to stroll among some gardens of the area which were in full spring bloom. One of them was the Mount Auburn Cemetery. Now I'm not one to visit cemeteries regularly, but this one had more to see than usual. It was founded in 1831 and was America's first landscaped cemetery as well as the first large scale green space open to the public. Today it is an arboretum/botanical garden, a bird sanctuary, as well as a place steeped in history.

We arrived too late for a formal tour so we wandered around in the visitors center where I picked up a map. It was then that I got a gleam in my eye and a little spring in my step. I asked the others what part they wanted to see and there were no firm answers. Ward's sister pointed to a certain road on the map and said that this area was one of her favorites—perfect. Just where I wanted to go.

You see, the map included the locations of 62 notable sites of the over 1000 notable people who were buried there. I had already picked out the first two graves I wanted to visit—James Russel Lowell and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and they were in the same area that Sis pointed to. Now how was I going to say that I wanted to celebrity grave hop without sounding too shallow? I managed to mumble something about using a quote from James Russel Lowell in my high school graduation speech and how I admired him. So we set off in that direction.

While the others were enjoying the blooming dogwoods and azaleas, I hopped out of the car to search the headstones. After a bit of looking, I found the Lowell family. I went round and round and found every name except James Russell. I had to console myself with his wife's spot. She apparently was a well known poet also. Next to find Henry. After going back and forth several times, it was determined that I needed to climb a hill to find his spot. So off I went for a climb while the others enjoyed the scenery from the comfort of the car. Henry was a bit easier to find. He too was surrounded by his family.

The afternoon was waning and we had to leave soon. I had the urge to do one more blitz for a famous monument sighting, but knew that we had something much more important to do. We were going to visit my brother-in-law's parents' grave. I have to admit that while I didn't get the same thrill as I did with my famous sightings, this was a much more meaningful stop. We talked about his parents and learned family jokes. We asked questions and he told stories. We left Mt. Auburn with a smile while enjoying the beautiful scenery and memories of two important family members.

(And, okay, I had some pictures of some famous people's graves. :) )