Saturday, March 24, 2012

You Should Read Jim Craig's Blog: Under Every Stone

Lazarus

I love visiting cemeteries, wandering the rows, reading the stones. Sometimes a particular monument will catch my eye and I'll stop for a minute and wonder about the person who's buried beneath it. For me, that's as far as it goes. But not for Jim Craig.

Last year, Jim started a blog called Under Every Stone and he uses it primarily to tell the stories behind gravestones that catch his eye on frequent Find-A-Grave trips to local cemeteries. Most, but not all, of the posts relate to Chicago families.

The first entry, "Finkelstein: Four Souls in One Tomb," tells the tragic story of a family that succumbed to a gas leak from an open jet in their kitchen in 1903.  Another early post tells the story of Lazarus Finkelstein from Russia Poland who died in Chicago in 1918 at the age of 107. And then there's the recent entry for Sammy Meisenberg (now spelled "Mizenberg" by the family) titled "Born a Jew, Lived an American, Died a Patriot." He was killed at Vera Cruz in 1914 and his death became part of Chicago's  history. A newspaper report that Jim shared in his post estimated that 100,000 people would participate in Sammy's funeral.

I find one post particularly memorable. Jim titles it "A Christmas Tragedy - Virginia Richdale Kerrigan" and relates the story of a happy little girl whose dress caught on fire as she twirled too close to a gas heater. Apparently she was a favorite of Rudolph Valentino and he used to bring flowers for the small now-empty vases at her crypt. If I ever have a chance to visit Hollywood or if you happen to find yourself in that cemetery this spring with a few extra daffodils ...

It's all about remembering, really, and I'm touched by each story that Jim tells.

Under Every Stone is on my short list of favorite blogs. If you haven't visited, I hope you'll take the time to do it. I think you'll be well rewarded.

1 comment:

Jacqi Stevens said...

Cynthia, even your recommendation sounds poignant! I'll certainly need to check this out. Thank you for putting in a good word for Under Every Stone.