Valentines from hearts now stilled

Love is stronger than death. It’s still not too late to talk Valentine’s Day, is it? Erika Hayasaki wrote a lovely story that the LA Times ran on Feb 14th, about a cemetery tour that focused on love stories. With a little research, Gwen Kaminski, who works at Laurel Hill cemetery in Philadelphia, found that the dead do tell tales. Well, okay, she found the tales and she told them. In addition to being a nice read, finding this story in the LA Times is a continuation of my theme of people I know in news stories last week.

I found the paper and read the story at a local lunch joint on Valentine’s Day. I kept wondering how an L.A.-based paper was covering a story based in Philadelphia. At the end, I noticed the byline (didn’t see it at the beginning)—Erika Hayasaki. Erika used to volunteer with WriteGirl (a nonprofit mentoring program that pairs women writers with teenage girls; I, too, am a volunteer)—until her employer, the Los Angeles Times, transferred her to their New York City bureau. Aha!. In fact, I’ve recorded an interview with Erika on the art of interviewing that I need to process and post in my start-it-up-again-podcast for this site. I’ll consider myself nudged.

Love. Cemeteries. There’s a theme here. Yesterday, I witnessed the burial of an old, dear friend next to his wife. For the last few days I’ve been hosting and cooking comfort food and, yes, taking my recording kit to the post-funeral reception to collect stories and reminiscences. (I really like how my recording kit comes in handy at unexpected times like these.) Now his daughter—a very good friend—and her sister have some spoken recollections about their dad.

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on February 19, 2008 in • Personal History
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