A Little Something Extra

Lagniappe [lan-yap] is what we New Orleanians call a little something extra. So here’s your bit of lagniappe for the month of January:

I recently bought a favourite day-by-day calendar (one I’ve purchased in the past) for 2012 and noticed something interesting worth sharing here on the blog. 

Today (17 January) is the feast day of St. Anthony, a patron of gravediggers.

Alice Earle’s Customs and Fashions in Old New England (1893) described a periodic disingenuous tidying up of Boston’s graveyards, which were generally called “burying grounds” in the United States until the 19th century: “Early graves were frequently clustered, were even crowded in irregular groups in the churchyard… In the first half of this century, a precise Superintendent of Graveyards and his army of assistants… straightened out mathematically all the old burial-places, leveled the earth, and set in trim military rows the old slate headstones, regardless of the irregular clusters of graves and their occupants. And there in Boston the falsifying old heastones still stand, fixed in new places, but marking no coffins or honored bones beneath – the only true words of their inscriptions being the opening ones, Here lies.”

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