Old stones, old bones.

Today we were walking across the Ponte Sisto, a pedestrian bridge over the Tiber. Approaching us, hand-in-hand with her chic mother, was a girl of about 7. She was walking as coolly as a model, wearing a tot-sized black leather motorcycle jacket.

I wish I’d gotten a photo of this startling fashion statement, but whoosh they were past us, and oh well.

Not so many photos today, because yesterday we went to a no-photos-allowed zone, it being a Monday and most of the good museums were closed. We went to the Capuchin crypt, and you can look up many photos online if you’re so inclined to see a visual marriage of the Khmer Rouge and, I dunno, maybe some scrapbookers. A long introduction tells you about the Capuchin order — there’s one in Detroit, and they feed the poor — until you get to what you came for, a series of niches decorated with, no kidding, thousands of human bones and a few mummies.

Allegedly 3,700 monks’ bones were used to create the various displays in the crypt, which were so, so strange. Catholics have a lot of premodern opinions about human remains, but it is downright weird to see floral motifs made with vertebrae and shoulder blades, to name but one of the displays on offer. You Catholics know the underlying message here — this’ll be you, one of these days, so don’t get too attached to your corporeal form — but as one who recalls the monsignor telling us that sure, we could cremate our parents, as long as it wasn’t done to deny the resurrection, it’s hard to believe this was hunky-dory with the One True. But who am I to argue.

Today we tried to go the Borghese Gallery, but didn’t plan ahead, and no tickets are available for days and days. So we rented bikes and explored the park.

That zoo entrance could be one or 100 years old — it does resemble the figures outside Comerica Park, where the Detroit Tigers play — but it hardly matters. You quickly learn, visiting here, that Italians are, as the kids say, extra:

Those are the trees so evocatively lit from above, by moonlight, in “Ripley,” now playing on Netflix. A few more days and clear weather and the moon will be up to it:

Tomorrow, the Vatican!

Posted at 3:45 pm in Holiday photos |

49 responses to “Old stones, old bones.”

  1. Sherri said on April 16, 2024 at 5:08 pm

    Too bad about the Borghese. It’s really spectacular, but does require advance planning.

    This is a very good piece about the problems at NPR, from a former insider, and explains very well why I couldn’t stand to listen to it any more during 2016.


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  2. Ann said on April 16, 2024 at 8:41 pm

    One of my parents’ favorite records, played often in our home, was Respighi’s Pines and Fountains of Rome. Turns out he was thinking of these very pines.

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  3. tajalli said on April 16, 2024 at 9:06 pm

    Enjoying the pics as they come, the closest I’ll probably get to Europe. Must be quite something to grow up surrounded by so much amazing architecture.

    The zoo entrance looks as though it were scavenged from a much grander building, the scale is way off.

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  4. Brandon said on April 16, 2024 at 11:41 pm

    An American Carpenter Helps Rebuild Cathedral”

    Paris — Five years have passed since Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames. The iconic spire and timber roof were destroyed in the blaze. People around the world were shocked at the scale of the fire and the damage it caused, but work to restore the iconic landmark to its former glory continues.

    Among those involved in the monumental project is an American carpenter who was given a rare chance to take part in this historic restoration project. In 2023, Hank Silver was running a small carpentry business in Massachusetts. Through a carpentry contact in France, he was asked if he wanted to join a team in Normandy preparing timber to rebuild the nave of Notre Dame.

    “I could not say ‘no’ to that opportunity,” Silver told CBS News. “It’s an opportunity that happens — once in a lifetime wouldn’t even be the right term, it’s once in a millennium, really.”

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  5. Mark P said on April 17, 2024 at 12:03 am

    Ah, yes, the Uri Berliner opinion piece It’s a typical right-wing hatchet job full of lies, half truths, and bullshit. First bullshit? Berliner claims to have been a liberal. That’s as true as the person who claims to have voted for Biden in 2020 but plans to vote for Trump this year. Almost all of his criticisms are right-wing claims that have been debunked. For example, he claims that the Mueller report found no evidence of collusion with Russia. That’s a lie that comes straight from Barr’s summary. The actual report found numerous instances of Trump campaign officials colluding with Russians. The rest of his accusations are similar. They are straight from the Republican playbook. When you boil it all down, he’s just mad that NPR isn’t Fox News.

    It’s not that I don’t have criticisms of NPR, but most of my criticisms can be directed at virtually every member of the electronic media. I do not find their political reporting to be particularly slanted. And I do not find Berliner’s complains to be valid.

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  6. Dexter Friend said on April 17, 2024 at 12:42 am

    I don’t travel anymore, but many years ago my recovery sponsor and I were heading to a meeting and by god…a flatbed truck went through Bryan with one of those giant marble tigers strapped on, followed by the mate, the second truck with tiger. Yeah, they looked like marble. They are plastic filled with polyurethane. They still sit regally at Detroit’s CoPa, Comerica Park.

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  7. Jeff Gill said on April 17, 2024 at 6:59 am

    Church history is a solvent for the study of theology. Over time, stuff is raised to the level of essentials until suddenly they aren’t.

    But I will say the sea change in funeral practice in my lifetime has been breathtaking. And something we’re all still sorting out.

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  8. alex said on April 17, 2024 at 8:56 am

    People cremate remains to deny the resurrection? How can it be my intent to deny the resurrection when I never believed in it in the first place?

    One sea change in funeral practice is that we’ve gone from solemnity to “celebrations of life.” My first memories of celebrations of life were in the gay community during the AIDS crisis, and I don’t know whether this concept was invented there, but it seems to have taken hold in society at large. And why not? It’s a sunny rather than gloomy way of dealing with loss and grief.

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  9. Icarus said on April 17, 2024 at 9:29 am

    alex @ 8: there is a, what would we call it, Urban Legend, that the Church didn’t like cremation because it cut the graveyard business.

    My unpopular opinion is that we should harvest every usable organ from every dead body but apparently, this violates dogma because the invincible all-powerful invisible sky wizard cannot recreate your body with parts and all in the afterlife.

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  10. alex said on April 17, 2024 at 9:56 am

    My hubby, the ex-seminarian, tells me the real reason the Catholic church forbade priests from marrying was to make the church the sole heir to any of their property or money.

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  11. David C said on April 17, 2024 at 10:59 am

    The Catholic Church is now against water cremation, where the body is dissolved in an alkaline solution, because the remaining liquid is poured down the sewer. Better it should pollute the the atmosphere? I won’t be using my remaining atoms so what difference does it make if they’re sliding down a pipe along with someone’s shit.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on April 17, 2024 at 11:07 am

    Jeff, what kinds of changes have you noticed? Around here it’s pretty much cremation with a service weeks or months later. And people dress casually, which also trended in Fort Wayne. Casually doesn’t mean khakis and a dress shirt for men anymore, it means althletic shorts and a tshirt. Women often make more of an effort, but isn’t that true in general?

    We’re working on getting ducks in a row right now so this is an area of discussion. One is for cremation, one for burial in cemetery up north with other family members. More discussion needed.

    Also: wills. I’ve learned that Florida isn’t so jazzed about out of state wills, especially since ours are 40 years old and signed by witnesses who have gone on to their heavenly reward. After handling my sister’s estate, I don’t want our kids to have problems, but the first highly-recommended attorney wanted $250 just for walking in the door. Lawyers; pay ’em now or pay ’em later.

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  13. Jeff Gill said on April 17, 2024 at 11:10 am

    What I bump into more often is the growing numbers of people who have their deceased family member cremated, hold no services or gathering, then are at a loss for what to do with the ashes, often for years. And at a certain point they ask “what should I do with these?” No funeral, no gathering, and no location for disposition is a perfectly reasonable choice, and should be honored, but it does create certain challenges for the survivors.

    Also, it results in a growing number of unusual deposits of ashes in certain public settings, a topic we’ve discussed here previously. But trust me, that’s not happening less often today. Raked a pile into the grass at a prehistoric earthwork just last week before the tour group wandered up.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on April 17, 2024 at 11:42 am

    Cemeteries are expensive. Mom looked at two for sis and neither had columbariums. The first treated ashes like a standard burial; buy the plot, pay an opening fee, etc. The other had a section for ashes, which was tiny cheapy plaques set in weed-filled gravel. It didn’t look like a place you’d put a loved one.

    So, seven years in, the ashes are still in a box and will become my problem, as will mom’s. I’d take them to the timberland in Iowa except I already know it’s not fun to travel with them.

    I also notice fewer obits, even the free ones.

    I don’t know if we’ll have a service for mom since she knows almost no one here by choice. Same in Fort Wayne. She hasn’t lived in DeKalb for 15 years and has outlived everyone she knew there. Family is almost gone, the three left are elderly, in poor health, and unable to travel.

    Jeff, I may be a poster child for you.

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  15. Suzanne said on April 17, 2024 at 11:44 am

    I have noticed funeral changes too. There is much more cremation than before but I think, more than anything, it’s a cost thing. Funerals with embalming, a wake, a coffin, and a grave are expensive and I think many people flat out can’t afford them. I notice many more people with no service at all which I think is sad. I want people to celebrate my life when I am gone but also mourn that I am no longer among them. I think a funeral provides space for that.

    I have known way too many conservative clergymen who decry cremation. Unconvinced that it has to do with cost, they usually head straight to mumbling something about the resurrection of the dead but that seems silly. If you believe in an all powerful God, how can you then believe he won’t have the power to resurrect a cremated body? And what happens if a person is blown up in an explosion or burns up in an accidental fire or drowns in the depths of the sea and the body is never recovered? By their reasoning, how you die impacts if you get to experience the resurrection of the body.
    It all makes no sense.

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  16. Sherri said on April 17, 2024 at 12:02 pm

    Guilty. My MIL’s ashes are in an urn on my mantel, and I don’t know what to do with them. She died in 2019, but left her body to science, which means that a year or so later, a box with ashes gets mailed to you. So, smack in the height of the pandemic, we get the box of ashes, and all that we really can do at that point is order an urn off Amazon and pour them in.

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  17. David C said on April 17, 2024 at 12:59 pm

    My father-in-law’s traditional funeral a couple of years cost $20,000. My dad’s with cremation last fall was $4,000. We were able to bury dad’s ashes in the family plot in the township cemetery where my family had lived since the 1850s. We got the plots deeded to us free when my brother died 45 years ago. At that time, it was a mostly rural township but now it’s a tony suburb of Grand Rapids. We’ve been asked if we want to sell our unused plots and told we could get quite a bit for the pair. My brother and I would rather keep them for our ashes to be buried in. I’d like to be buried in the cemetery as six generations of my family. We’ll see. If mom needs it to pay for her memory care apartment, we’d sell them.

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  18. brian stouder said on April 17, 2024 at 1:54 pm

    My mom (from NYC) and dad (from Ft Wayne) met in San Diego, while in the US Navy. Mom always (always!) spoke glowingly of California, and after she passed (some years after my dad), we flew to San Diego with their ashes, and gave them to the Navy. At some point, then, the remains would be consigned to the depths of the Pacific Ocean, by the Navy…. The journey was indeed a bittersweet, enduring memory

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  19. Dave said on April 17, 2024 at 2:14 pm

    My parents, who would not discuss any arrangements with us and did no arranging of their own, lie in a cemetery in Scioto County, OH, started as a family cemetery and still has our family name, folks back to at least one set of third great-grandparents lie there, now maintained by the township, and residents of the township or direct descendants of our family get a plot for free. My mother told my sister and I that in no way did she want us to, “Put her there”. We told our three other siblings that she emphatically told us that but they all had the viewpoint that Mom and Dad should be together and so there they are.

    Also, they had graveside services and no funeral home viewing, nothing very involved.

    We also have through inheritance two plots in the Lucasville, Ohio, cemetery, also in Scioto County, that my maternal grandparents bought after WWII, where they lie along with their son’s remains, lost in WWII. That’s also where Mom wanted to go but we were overruled, although my sister and I thought, what does it matter? Does it? My wife learned through research that one set of her great-grandparents are not together, lying in two different locations in Hocking County, OH. Of course, no one today knows why this is so.

    Julie, as I related earlier, we updated our wills while living in Florida after we learned what hardships our survivors might encounter. At the time, we didn’t foresee ourselves moving back to Indiana but when we did, we swallowed hard and paid another lawyer to have Indiana wills. We don’t see ourselves leaving here. The lawyers always win in the end.

    Jeff Gill, looks like the country club is losing with the Moundbuilders appeal and their high valuation of the golf course.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on April 17, 2024 at 2:24 pm

    Oh, they do. But I feel like they get more here. Six years ago in Fort Wayne, Mom paid $400 for a will, living will, power of attorney and health care representative. It was through Beers, Banks, etc, in the old FW National building. Whatever that bank is now.

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  21. 4dbirds said on April 17, 2024 at 2:26 pm

    I still have the ashes of my young adult son, who died 11 years ago on April 8.

    We had a celebration of life for him, but nothing religious. We are a family of either atheists or agnostics. There was talk of interning his ashes in the family grave in Philly or another in Marceline, Missouri. Neither appealed to us since the grave in Philly is very close to a well-known mobster, and no one goes to Missouri anymore. We may have a solution to where we wish to rest eternally. My husband and my ashes are to be interned in a veteran’s cemetery. Since my parents are there, I would like it to be at the Los Angeles Veterans Cemetary. My daughter, who is disabled, is eligible to be interned with us, as is my son, as he was single and living with us at the time of his death. We, too, need to see a lawyer soon to enable our executor to fulfill our wishes.

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  22. Sherri said on April 17, 2024 at 4:48 pm

    Uri Berliner, having failed in his attempt to be cancelled at NPR by being fired, has resigned. Bari Weiss, Ilya Shapiro, there’s a pattern: whine about how awful and woke your workplace is, hoping they’ll make a victim out of you, then when they don’t, quit. Just quit and move on to your right wing sinecure.

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  23. Deborah said on April 17, 2024 at 5:02 pm

    As I’ve said many times here my mother died when I was 14, she was buried in a cemetery about a mile from where we lived then, which was 1964. My dad died in 1991 and by then had remarried but his wife thought he should be buried next to my mother so that’s what we did since the plot was paid for many years ago. We had a funeral at the church where we attended for many years growing up with no body viewing and a simple coffin, even though my dad and his wife had moved and attended a different church at the time. I have never been back to that gravesite since my day died even though I have been back to Miami various times for work projects. It just never became possible to work in a trip to the cemetery during the times I was there for business. I highly doubt that I will ever go there now or in the future.

    My husband and I have designed a memorial of sorts for ourselves that will be on our land in Abiquiu. It will consist of 2 spun bronze bowls attached to a base with our names on them. Our ashes will be poured in each of the open bowls and will scatter in the wind probably immediately. We probably should have these made soon since we’re getting older and our demise could be sooner than we think.

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  24. LAMary said on April 17, 2024 at 5:21 pm

    I’ve been dealing with cremation issues for the last few days. I naively answered the question “are there any other surviving siblings with a “yes” and included jerk sleazy brother’s email address. We both get emails asking for authorization to cremate the late brother
    Electronic signature, maybe a thirty second job to read the form. Jerk brother allows the form to expire. They send him another one. It expires . I can’t get death certificates until the crematorium requests them post cremation. I call jerk brother and says he’ll get to it. Shit. I text my lawyer and he says I’m the presumed executor since the one named in the will has been dead for 5 years and I don’t need jerk brother’s signature. So that’s all good now. I’m so tempted to send jerk brother a copy of the will
    to let him know that he’s supposed to pay me for what he owed my recently deceased brother’s estate. I’m sure there’s no point in pursuing this but maybe he should know what he’ll I could have put him through.

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  25. David C said on April 17, 2024 at 5:50 pm

    It seems like a good bridge to burn, LAMary.

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  26. Sherri said on April 17, 2024 at 6:18 pm

    If you decide to do it, LAMary, have your lawyer do it. If you’re going to burn a bridge, blow that fucker up.

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  27. Jeff Gill said on April 17, 2024 at 6:57 pm

    Dave, you are correct. The lawyers for the country club are now arguing, in the court of public opinion (which we all think is their attempt to do some jury pre-tampering, since they didn’t get a change of venue, either), that it’s unfair because they will have no witnesses.

    As one of the six witnesses they subpoenaed, I can tell you the problem, which they had to have known was coming, is they ONLY subpoenaed witnesses about the value of the earthworks on the site. That’s what the judge ruled off the table, and his ruling(s) that expert testimony on earthworks was not relevant, were appealed to the district CoA and to the state SC, and that’s what was upheld.

    They could have subpoenaed 30 witnesses, including 15 experts on golf course appraisal, 10 on catering/banquet business valuation, and 5 on earthworks. Then they’d still have 25 witnesses. But no, they just called six of us to talk about the mounds, and we can now stand down (my family is getting too used to having subpoenas delivered to the house). So they will go through the final jury phase of the eminent domain proceeding to set the value of the remaining leasehold only, and . . . sigh . . . THEN they will appeal again to the Fifth CoA & then the state SC.

    So I’m trying to be patient about it being as much as two more years to conclude and even set a date. But the next 18.6 year cycle’s moonrises along the alignments come in October 2024 through March 2025, and dang it, I don’t want to wait until 2043. My son might have to bring my ashes out by then to see the northernmost moonrise. And dump them into a former hole on the golf course as fill…

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  28. Dorothy said on April 17, 2024 at 9:26 pm

    Once again I’m marveling at how my current life situation lines up with the topic in a Nancy Nall post.

    This Saturday is my sister’s funeral Mass. She was cremated in late February several days after she died. I found out today her cause of death was natural – she had atherosclerotic cardio vascular disease, and she was obese. Those were the primary and secondary causes. I was glad to hear this because I had been putting 2 and 2 together about some details before she died, and had been worrying that she had offed herself. It doesn’t change anything but it brought me some peace to know she died of natural causes.

    Well, that week she died when I was doing so many phone calls about the arrangements, one place I called was Calvary Cemetery where my parents are buried in a crypt. My mom, before she died, ensured there was room to put my sister in there too as she’s the only unmarried one of the ten kids. There is room for another casket, but apparently it’s no cut and dried, easy peasy task to put anything in the wall. They quoted me $5,118.75 to open the crypt and put her cremains in there, then seal it back up again. I about shit myself when I heard that amount! I asked about alternative ways to bury her and when she gave me the details, it added up to almost the same amount. Around $4,000.

    She called me about 10 days later wondering what we had decided. I had her on speaker phone and was in the car with my husband. I cooly dressed her down without being rude, and I still remembered that exact dollar amount, quoted it back to her and said it was greedy and practically criminal to charge people that much money. If my mother had been told how much it would be back when she asked about burying Louise with her and dad, she would have mentioned it, I’m positive. I think she doesn’t usually talk to people who speak to her the way I did (I promise I kept calm and didn’t swear) but she sure was tongue tied and got off the call ASAP.

    So – that being said – Jeff I might have to have you give me instructions on how to find that earthworks location because I’m pretty sure the cremains are coming back home with me on Sunday. I too bought a nice box on Amazon and it’s on the table with my ‘don’t forget to bring this stuff’ pile for our departure on Friday. We might think about scattering Lou’s ashes in Indian Lake the next time we go fishing on a pontoon boat. Can we get arrested if someone sees us doing that? I seriously need to know.

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  29. Deborah said on April 17, 2024 at 9:47 pm

    Can I just say once again how much I love this place? We can talk about anything and everything here, politics, sports, cars, money, sex, medical issues, death and whatever. It’s so refreshing.

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  30. brian stouder said on April 17, 2024 at 9:54 pm

    What Deborah said, indeed!!

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  31. Julie Robinson said on April 17, 2024 at 10:46 pm

    Dorothy, that was similar to what the cemetery wanted to charge us. I didn’t unload because Mom was with me and she was already feeling quite emotional, but I could also see in her face how shocked she was.

    I’ve always hated funeral homes and how they take advantage of grieving families who are too upset to think clearly. I can think of 1000 better ways to use that money. Same thing about weddings. Our son’s wife wanted the whole big thing and her family had the money, but it made us uncomfortable. I spent more on my dress than for my own wedding! We kept saying to each other that it was their wedding and we weren’t going to make waves the way my folks did. And God willing, it’ll be the only one.

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  32. David C said on April 18, 2024 at 5:54 am

    Whether you can scatter ashes varies from place to place. Most people just go ahead and do it on the it’s easier to apologize than get permission plan. My Uncle John’s ashes were spread where the farm they grew up was. It’s now a golf course. The golf course wouldn’t give permission but mason jars in golf bags and a round of golf solved that.

    I know a lot of people would like their ashes spread at Disney World which, as I understand, will get those doing the spreading banned for life. I’ve always thought spreading ashes at Disney like they spread dirt from the tunnel in “The Great Escape” would work nicely and stealthily.

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  33. Dorothy said on April 18, 2024 at 7:06 am

    My husband has his bees in three locations this year and two of them are very rural, and on what was previously farmland but is now part of a land trust. Those places are definite possibilities.

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  34. Joe Kobiela said on April 18, 2024 at 8:34 am

    I have dropped ashes from my airplane, we came up with a piece of pvc pipe with a plunger you load the ash in one end and cover it with thin plastic stick it out the window and push the plunger.
    Myself I would like my ashes given to the Fort Wayne Rugby team and have them form a dirt tee and kick off a game from the tee and grind me into the pitch.
    Pilot Joe

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  35. Dexter Friend said on April 18, 2024 at 9:06 am

    Alex…Six Feet Under, the fabulous Alan Ball production, is being re-run on MAX and HBO. Try to find the episode, “The Biker Funeral”. You would enjoy.

    Kerry Kennedy was just on with Joe and Mika on MSNBC proclaiming allegiance to Joe Biden. She has the same speech condition as Bobby Jr. I did not know this. Oh, she said she loves Bobby, she likes Bobby, but we need Joe. I concur.
    And many pundits are praising Johnson for “bringing back the spirit of Ronald Reagan” in the funding kerfuffle in Congress. Please, don’t praise Reagan , that enemy of working people, to union people. Off the soap box.

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  36. alex said on April 18, 2024 at 9:58 am

    Dex, I loved Six Feet Under. I only saw it sporadically and don’t remember the biker episode but I’ll have to check it out. I’ve been meaning to get some sort of subscription TV but don’t know where to begin. We cut the cable maybe ten years ago and tried a Roku with Hulu and Netflix but hardly used it and let it lapse and now the Roku device is obsolete.

    Any recommendations?

    As regards cremains, I’m not sure what all happened with my mom’s. My brother, who does pottery as a hobby, made a small urn and buried it unmarked in an old family cemetery, per my mom’s wishes. The rest were supposed to be distributed on my parents’ property and I have no idea whether that ever took place.

    My only dealing with cremains up to that point was when we purchased the house next door and converted into a rental. The son of the old lady who lived there inherited about $4 million in stocks and bonds and didn’t give a shit about any of her belongings so we were left to dispose of them. We saved some valuables but indiscriminately threw most of it into our truck bed and hauled it to the dump. On one excursion, when we were unloading the truck bed, I found a black plastic box that had held the lady’s ashes. The lid was slightly cracked open and only a coating of dust remained inside and I suspect we distributed the ashes on the drive to the dump.

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  37. Mark P said on April 18, 2024 at 10:19 am

    I don’t remember whether I have told this story before, so here goes.

    My brother, who died six years ago, spent his life working as a materials scientist, but had a life-changing experience taking his vacation to work for the Presbyterian disaster relief agency on the Gulf Coast, helping people who were still virtually homeless after Katrina. He came back home to Chattanooga, resigned from his well-paying job, attended seminary school, and became a minister. Before he died at 70 from pancreatic cancer (thanks, God, it’s not like he wasn’t doing your work) he asked that his ashes be scattered on the New River in West Virginia. He had no connection to West Virginia other than driving through to get to the Pittsburgh area when he worked for Alcoa. But the New River is considered to be one of the oldest rivers in the Western Hemisphere, and he said he wanted his ashes scattered “closest to the creation.” Some time after he died, I asked his widow about making the trip to scatter the ashes. She was on the negative side of noncommittal. I waited about a year, and then I gathered some wood ashes and made the 440-mile drive to the New River Gorge by myself. I went to the New River Gorge Bridge, the third highest bridge in the US, but they don’t allow pedestrians on the bridge except for once a year. But that was OK. I took the narrow, winding, one-way road down to the river and scattered the ashes from an old wooden-decked bridge. It was a nice, sunny day, and the ashes sparked at they drifted out over the water. I think my brother would have appreciated the symbolism, and would have probably figured it was as good as real. In any case, my ex-SiL has been incommunicado for the last five years, so it will probably be the closest my brother comes to having his dying wish granted.

    The area is now a national park. There might be objections to scattering human ashes on the river now, but at the time I don’t know who would have objected. I would do it again, regardless.

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  38. Dexter Friend said on April 18, 2024 at 10:57 am

    Alex, I don’t have a smart TV, but I am content with Fire TV: the Fire Stick. It hooks onto your TV in 2 minutes and you have instant options to buy into any streams you desire. I don’t even budget and choose, I just subscribe to almost all of them. Even so, I spend most of my TV time watching YouTube videos. My favorite is “GIV”…the German in Venice. He drives around recording happenings all around LA County and back in Germany. He is a real hoot.

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  39. LAMary said on April 18, 2024 at 11:11 am

    I took today off as one of my five allotted bereavement days to complete a lot of forms the lawyer sent. If I lived fewer than 1000 miles from the late relative I would get three bereavement days but luckily I live 10017 miles from my late brother’s address. How weird is this rule? I could live down the block and need a lot of days to deal with a messy estate. On the other hand can deal with a lot of the preliminary stuff remotely. Don’t tell the HR person who came up with this rule.

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  40. David C said on April 18, 2024 at 1:03 pm

    Imagine someone’s ashes raining down on a chemtrail conspiracy nut. Get out the vinegar spritzers me boys.

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  41. Jeff Borden said on April 18, 2024 at 1:30 pm

    We committed the ashes of my wife’s parents and her aunt to the Atlantic Ocean a couple of years ago. They’d been dead for years and –lo and behold– the ashes were as hard as a rock. My B-I-L eventually waded into the water and put the urn shaped ashes under the waves. I had no idea ashes would solidify like that over time.

    We’re going to be cremated. No kids. Only one sibling each. Two nephews and a niece. No connection to any place but Chicago, where we’ve both spent almost the majority of our adult lives. Being buried under a headstone just seems silly in our case.

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  42. Jeff Gill said on April 18, 2024 at 1:42 pm

    Dorothy, happy to talk offline about options. Public waterways are funny; I don’t think anyone would care, but if there’s a DNR patrol nearby I’d be cautious. There are no laws in Ohio against scattering in streams or lakes, but you have regulations if you’re near a public beach. Disney World, as I heard directly from Haunted Mansion staff, has a running protocol and daily clean-up runs for ash deposits, as does Ohio Stadium on gameday, but yes you can get banned for life if caught doing so at either.

    But as Dorothy warns us all: cemeteries & funeral homes are adding “re-opening fees” that did not exist ten or more years ago. Just to put an urn inside a casket, for which you’re paying full freight from service to interment, they’ll try to add $400 and up simply for adding an “inurnment” to the burial. Ask to bury an urn in a plot already occupied by a spouse’s coffin? You’ll find four figure quotes even in smaller cemeteries. Which is why increasingly people are skipping it all, and leaving the half-empty black plastic boxes for house clearing crews to puzzle over decades later.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on April 18, 2024 at 3:07 pm

    Mary, you’re going to need every one of those five days for working on the estate. Ugh, I’m so sorry.

    Alex, are you in the Apple world or the android world? I can’t advise on Apple, but if android, I would get a Chromecast, 3rd generation, which will run you $50. You need a TV with USB ports. You can get all the apps for everything through the Chromecast, and it comes with a remote, too. You can also cast directly from an android phone or tablet. I wasn’t the person who set it up but I recall it being quite simple.

    Again, if your phone and tablet are Apple, you probably want to stay in that world for compatibility. I’m sure many here can help with that.

    Dexter, with Firestick do you have to get your apps through Amazon?

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  44. LAMary said on April 18, 2024 at 3:42 pm

    I know, Julie. I just hope I can access some of the cash before the estate is settled. I think I can hit one of his IRA accounts, he had three, to fund the whole process. Two of the IRAs are Roth Iras and I’ve been told to not touch those but there is a rollover IRA that would be adequate.
    I haven’t shared the jerk brother that I WAS going to let him slide but I’m rethinking it. I probably will let him slide because I don’t want to deal with him at all. Trying to get him to pay up would be a full time job. I don’t know if he made any sort of payment already. If he did I’m sure it was just a percentage of the amount he owes. What sucks is this episode with him makes me think of all the other times he’s been a real asshole with me. I need to let this go, I think.

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  45. basset said on April 18, 2024 at 5:43 pm

    And I see Dickey Betts has died… so now five of the original six members have passed on to the other side, with Jaimoe the only one left.

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  46. basset said on April 18, 2024 at 6:17 pm

    Members of the Allman Brothers, I should have said but figured pretty much everyone here would know.

    Tried to will my body to the IU medical school, but they turned me down… too heavy, their limit is 210 lb and I’ll go about 240. Probably not much usable there, anyway.

    Let me share another death-adjacent story, if I may. Mama Basset was born and raised in northeast London and emigrated to the USA in 1950. Back in the day, many city families there went out in the country to Kent and picked hops in season. There were always some gypsies around, I understand “Roma” is the term we’re supposed to use now, but anyway one year when she was about ten, which would have made it 1939 more or less, one of them read her palm and told her fortune.

    You will move far away, she was told, and you will bear four sons but only three will live… both true. When she died we found a little zippered coin purse among her belongings, nothing in it except four 1939 farthings, very small value coins about the size of a dime.

    I carry mine in my wallet, my brothers are both dead so no telling what happened to theirs, and the fourth is on my parents’ grave… which btw is within a literal stone’s throw of Hoagy Carmichael’s grave in Bloomington.

    Me, I dunno, I’ll probably fall in the creek and get eaten by turtles or something.

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  47. LAMary said on April 18, 2024 at 7:48 pm

    Julie, unless my brother was cheating on his taxes or something, which I doubt, his estate will allow me to retire. Even if I share the bucks with my sons. His house is mostly paid for and it’s a nice house in a nice neighborhood. Definitely not my kind of neighborhood and since it’s not in L. A. it’s not a million dollar house. It’s in a very HOA sort of neighborhood. I would be in trouble with the HOA constantly I bet. My backyard here is all four foot tall lavender plants, agaves and trees. No lawn. Nothing groomed. Lots of geraniums that have spread. Anyway… the work it will take to settle the taxes and sort the IRAs and stocks, pay some bills and sell his house will with any luck take about five or six months I’m thinking. If I find a good money person to help me manage the cash and be able to leave some bucks to the offspring I should be ok. I don’t travel anymore, I don’t eat out, I don’t drink, smoke or use drugs. I don’t even have any streaming services on my TV and I don’t want any. I want to upgrade my electrical so I can switch to all electric appliances and maybe get an electric car. That’s about the priciest thing on my list if everything works out.

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  48. 4dbirds said on April 18, 2024 at 8:14 pm

    Hearing about the high prices for funerals and burials, I’m glad we have the VA available to us.

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  49. Dexter Friend said on April 19, 2024 at 5:22 am

    The Geek Squad would laugh in my face at my technical skills, but I see Amazon as an app on my FireStick menu, not as an app I go through.
    I am glad Chromecast works for you, but we had that first and I threw it away and bought a FireStick to replace it. Whatever you like, I say. As Roy sang, “…any way you want…”
    I see I could have my cremains rested in inurnment at Columbarium Court at Arlington. A veteran must meet certain marks to be have a full body interment in a dirt grave there. The niche wall is where they stack the cremains.

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