Today is Mother’s Day, and as usual, some Tribe members put flowers on the graves of their mothers and grandmothers. I stopped at Curtis Hendricks’ establishment at Great Neck Road and Meetinghouse Road to pick up some flowers and proceeded to The Old Indian Cemetery. What assaulted my eyes there was crying shame. One would think that the cemetery would have been prepared for Mother’s Day. Instead, it looked like somebody overdue for a trip to the barber and a shave. Another family was there for the same purpose, and one was vigorously raking the thatch from the top of his brothers grave.
I have always loved our cemetery. I have good memories as a young child walking between the rows of stones and wondering who some of the unfamiliar names were. I can honestly tell you that I never felt afraid or uncomfortable among so many dead people simply because it was always such a sunny and cheerful place, and it was kept so by the men who maintained it.
When I became an adult, and went to bury friends and family members, the cemetery held the same fascination for me, as I reacquainted myself with those who had passed over the years. Seeing the names, and the times that the deceased had lived in, gave me a perspective on life and my place in it. Now it provokes thoughts of my inevitable journey down that road myself, a decade or three hence. What will you see when you come to visit me? Will you also feel comfortable, or will you sense death through the gnarled and wizened appearance of the grounds?
Our people did the best they could with the resources they had. Ollie Pocknett did a great job with his limited budget, and more recently, Leigh Potter ran a tight ship. You would not find such a disgraceful situation on Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, or any other day for that matter. Well, at least not until Leigh was fired, at the behest of Carol Lopez. Such actions have been typical of the present regime, who present a schizophrenic mix of autocracy and week-kneed pandering to certain persons. But no surprise, Carol “plastic flowers” Lopez was Aaron Tobey’s campaign manager, wasn’t she?
And another thing: would it be so hard to put up a discretely located concrete block building with steel doors to replace that ugly container thing? And how much would a few sections of stockade fence cost? wouldn’t it be nice if your view of your loved one’s resting place looked more like a park than a dump? Machines, tools, and materials are central to the operation of a cemetery, but be discrete. A dumpster? Oh come on! And that trailer, don’t think there is nobody thinking about backing their trailer hitch up to it.
Our cemetery should be a showplace. It should be a park-like place that strangers would want to stop at and walk around. Let’s get on the ball!