Monday, October 27, 2008

Uncle Monroe's Messy Memorial

Originally Published in GeneaBlogie, July 16, 2006

I was surprised to learn two summers ago that my father's great uncle Monroe Bryant (September 8, 1900 -- December 3, 1953) is buried in Sacramento, just about 5 miles away from the Bloggcast Center. He was buried on December 17, 1953, in East Lawn Memorial Park in the well-to-do neighborhood of East Sacramento. East Lawn is Sacramento's oldest and most "prestigious" cemetery. Many members of "old money" families are buried there.

Monroe Bryant was 53 years old when he died of cirrhosis of the liver. He had been born in Rockport, Texas, and had spent a great portion of his life wandering the country. Apparently, he left most places just one step ahead of the sheriff.

Since it was so close I decided to visit Monroe Bryant's grave. It was 104° outside, but East Lawn's self-description sounded perfect:
Described as a "peaceful oasis in the heart of the city", East Lawn Memorial Park offers over 40 acres of serenity and solitude away from the hectic city pace, just minutes from the freeway. Lush greenery, mature trees (many hundreds of years old) and timeless architectuure define the beauty of the park, which has become a community landmark for those in the area.

However, as can be seen, Monroe Bryant didn't get the true East Lawn experience. This was a shocking and disappointing moment for me. On the other hand I'm not sure what I expected: Monroe Bryant was an alcoholic drifter.
Monroe Bryant's unmarked grave in Sacramento, California.

It is saddening, however, to find a relative's final resting place in such unsatisfactory condition. This grave is located in section S, Row 14, plot 82. It's in the "non-endovved" area of the cemetery. Apparently, there are plans to upgrade this section. In the meantime, however, I'll be working on getting marker for Monroe Bryant's grave.

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