Yesterday, while reading one of the historical lists I am on, I found and appeal to readers to support the restoration of the grave of Theodore Parker in Florence, Italy. Parker, an avid abolitionist, and minister in West Roxbury, went abroad just before the Civil War because of ill health. He died in Italy in 1860 and was buried in the "English Cemetery" in Florence.
I have known for years that his grave was in disrepair, and while I thought about it a lot, I never offered anything to those trying to improve the situation. My fictional Emily Lothorp was a child when she met Parker. He died when she was ten. He and her father are the models which inspired her bravery.
Emily worries a lot about graves. Her parents are buried in Cambridge Cemetery, her husband in Rutland, Vermont. She torn as to where she herself should be buried. This is not unusual for the time. One's final resting place was very important.
Some of the research I did for The Case Book of Emily Lawrence consisted of walking Mt. Auburn and Cambridge Cemeteries. I've never been to the place where Charles is buried in Rutland, Vermont, but I have seen picture of it.
Do you think she would worry about the grave of one of her heroes? Do you think she would support it financially? Do you think I should send money to them in her name?
While walking the cemeteries I did find some weird coincidences. One of my characters mother had died recently (in 1890 or so). Emily meets him at the family monument in Cambridge. There is in fact an obelisk for the Cox family at the foot of the hill, right where I needed it to be. Emma Lothrop (Emily's mother) has a small head stone just up the hill, not far from the James family.
The oddest thing I came across was in Mt. Auburn, where I found my own grave stone. Name spelled correctly and with the date of birth is exactly 100 years earlier than my own.