Some Random Thoughts at Year's End

 As the year comes to a close, I traditionally sort through some random notes and attempt to tie together some loose ends. For me personally, the year was both challenging and rewarding and it ends on very satisfying note as we look to build on our early success and continue to grow the Memorial Business Journal in 2010. I guess after spending a number of years in one place, I do feel a little like Jay Leno moving to the 10 p.m. slot. And as you can tell by the page count of this issue, we had a lot going on in the final weeks of 2009. We are looking forward to helping you take on whatever challenges 2010 will throw at us. But before then, those random thoughts...

• At my recent high school reunion, some classmates engaged me in discussions about the death care profession. I was asked what kind of topics I’d be writing about in the journal. I said that I would be reporting and analyzing the news, but I also wanted to showcase more of the positive stories that help make up the death care profession. My classmates, like the general public, wonder what I consider to be a positive story coming out of funeral service. What I think I’ll do is send them a copy of the Prospect Hill Cemetery story (page 1) and see if they get my drift. 
• What Prospect Hill has done to honor veterans is amazing. Other cemeteries looking to broaden the scope of their property may want to look into a similar project. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the steel pulled from the World Trade Center, is looking to generate more interest in finding appropriate uses the steel. The Port Authority has placed ads in police, fire and municipal trade magazines offering the steel for memorials and tributes. The New York Times reported that there are about 1,800 pieces of steel ranging in size, although half of them very large, which are available to be hauled away at the recipient’s expense. Requests for the steel must be approved by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of Federal District Court. The judge has since granted virtually all requests.
• I don’t want people to think that I am not in the holiday spirit so this is more of an observation than a rant. Many years ago I was given a pair of fingerless wool gloves and I was told they were made for newspaper carriers who needed to make change. A few years later I was given a pair of leather fingerless gloves as a gift and told that they were called driving gloves. There was a period of time where women I’d see in clubs would be wearing fingerless gloves, calling them “Madonna gloves.” A couple years ago I saw an ad for fingerless wool gloves touting that they would be an excellent gift for your letter carrier, “postal carrier gloves” I assume they were called. So last week I saw a pair of fingerless gloves in a shop, I asked the saleswoman what they were called and she told me, “texting gloves.” I suppose I had a lot of nerve to be surprised by that.
• You can always tell when Mother Nature is rushing the seasons. Here in the northeast, a recent scene demonstrated this precisely: Snow covering the piles of leaves on the roadside that were still waiting to be hauled away.
• I still can’t decide whether or not Bob Dylan meant his new Christmas album to be funny.
And in closing, I would just like to wish everyone a very safe, healthy and happy holiday season. Here’s to continued good health, success and prosperity in 2010.
Edward J. Defort
The December 2009 issue of Memorial Business journal is available for FREE DOWNLOAD from our web site