8 hours ago
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Somewhere along the line, funeral homes, became parlors, then became mortuaries. Decca Mitford probably had something to do with that by the publication of "The American Way of Death". In typical Mitford fashion, she set off on the funeral industry like a wild dog confronting the funeral industry abuse of aggrieved families, she saw behind every funeral.
She had an impact for a while. To distance themselves from their shady competitors many "parlors" went from family enterprises to chains.
At the top of our street, next to the high school, is a mortuary. They have, what Mrs. T and I disrespectfully describe as, maybe 3 shows a month. How or why they stay open is a mystery, but every time I pass I'm reminded of Decca.
Passing there often makes me wonder what they could do with their free time, that is when they aren't having shows. I've gotten fairly creative at times. Seems like a wonderful junior prom space, art gallery, chauffeuring business, church. Who knows.
It seems as long they are empty, and probably have bills to pay whether or not they're working, it could be a great community resource, so long as you could deal with sudden cancellations.
Out of the blue, Number One Son sent me a link to this story in the Topeka, Kansas Capital-Journal, originally published in the Berkshire Eagle.
Mass. mortuary hopes chili cook-off brings 'life'
The Associated Press
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Western Massachusetts funeral home is trying "bring life" to business with a chili cook-off, a murder-mystery show and free limo rides to couples on their 50th anniversaries. Terry Probst, the new managing partner of the Devanny-Condron Funeral Home in Pittsfield, hopes the events will remind people that the funeral home is a center for community life.
He said if customers know that the funeral home also can be the setting for other, happier activities, they might take some comfort in the place later when dark times come.
Among other other events sponsored by the funeral home are an art walk, a visit by the Easter Bunny, and monthly birthday cakes to the Pittsfield Senior Center.
For all my joking about it, this kind of creeps me out, but I'm unsure why. Any ideas?