Return from San Antonio: ICCFA Convention 2010

Todd Van Beck's picture

My goodness I could live in San Antonio.  I was not crazy about Houston, real nice people, great food, but hot, hot, hot, hot.  

My personal opinion is that San Antonio has to be one of the best cities in the world to have a convention, fun, history, culture, and of course the River Walk, what a wonderful city.  

My buddy Rob Heppell from Canada had never seen the Alamo, and I was staying at the Historic Menger Hotel which was right next door to the center of independence, and so he and I walked over after dinner.  Rob looked at me and said “The Alamo, wow, this is where Custer had his last stand.”  Rob is so talented, so bright, but I had to gently correct his US history.

The convention once again opened my eyes, confused my mind, inspired me and worried me concerning the state of the state of funeral service.  I had an enlightening conversation with a buddy of mine concerning green burials, and he assured me that the worry I have concerning critters stealing – well just imagine, folks – was unfounded.  He said the gravediggers everywhere would always under all conditions dig a grave deep enough that critters could not smell the remains.  He was the expert, not me.

I was once again struck by all the technology, baffling stuff, and I still have not, probably never will get a handle on it all.  Possibly I am not alone?

However what struck me, and as usual I was mighty happy about this, was the smiling faces, the collegiality, the courtesy, the friendships which were evidenced by the attendees.

I have wished for many things in my career, and seeing cemeterians, monument dealers, florists, attorneys, funeral directors, embalmers, insurance companies, techy people, grave diggers, landscape artists, worker bees, corporate executives, and just about anybody connected with death care that you could think of actually talking together, seemingly having a good time, no gigantic egos, just people with a common cause smiling, laughing and learning together is for me a wish come true.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know this:  isolation, exclusivity, egos run amuck, myopic visions, and protectionism, territories and boundaries, does not work, and will continue to fall apart as time marches on.

ICCFA’s model does not continue to kick dinosaurs. 

Anyway that is one old undertaker’s opinion.  TVB