NPR Series: Dead Stop

2:56am

Wed August 1, 2012
Dead Stop

The Ghostly Grandeur Of A Desert Graveyard

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

A couple celebrates Dia de los Muertos at the Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas.
Stacy Kendrick Concordia Cemetery

It's a raggedy moonscape; no lush green grass or tranquil arbors here. Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, just a few blocks from the Mexican border, is stark and dusty. It's overrun with crumbling concrete markers and old wooden crosses gone askew. And it goes on ... and on ... and on.

"It's 52 acres," says Bernie Sargent, chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission. "Sixty thousand people buried here. And they're all dead."

The Grave Of A Wild West Legend

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3:07am

Tue July 31, 2012
Dead Stop

Rediscovered Headstones Hold Clues To Earthquake

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 6:55 am

The Gilliam Cemetery, near Sebastopol, Calif., received its first grave in 1852. Many of its older headstones have disappeared over the years.
Cindy Carpien NPR

The Gilliam Cemetery, which lies 60 miles north of San Francisco, appears to be gaining residents lately. But it's not only because new people have been interred there. Instead, headstones that wound up being buried a century ago have been found and resurrected.

The cemetery's story begins in 1850, when a wagon train of pioneers left Missouri and settled near what is now Sebastopol, Calif. The Gilliam Cemetery was started in 1852, when Polly Gilliam Sullivan and her husband, Isaac, needed a place to bury their stillborn son.

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2:33am

Mon June 11, 2012
Dead Stop

'Bill W.' Day Celebrates Alcoholics Anonymous Hero

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:45 pm

Visitors to Bill Wilson's grave in Vermont often leave sobriety chips atop his headstone, marking how long they have been continuously sober.
Steve Zind NPR

Alcoholics Anonymous has long been known for the anonymity of its members. But there are two key figures in AA's history whose names are well known.

One is co-founder Bill Wilson, known as "Bill W." Beginning in the 1930s, Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith began helping other alcoholics in order to maintain their own sobriety.

Wilson's simple grave in Vermont makes no mention of his work. That doesn't stop people from visiting it, especially on this annual Bill W. Day. But people seek out Wilson's grave in a small cemetery near his birthplace in East Dorset, Vt., all year long.

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10:12pm

Wed June 6, 2012
Dead Stop

How Dorothy Parker Came To Rest In Baltimore

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 6:17 pm

Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke (center left) and NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Hooks lower the ashes of writer Dorothy Parker into her final resting place at the NAACP headquarters in 1988.
Carlos Rosario AP

The writer, poet and critic Dorothy Parker was technically not a native New Yorker; she was born at her family's beach cottage in New Jersey. But she always considered New York City to be her beloved hometown. It's where she grew up, where she struggled during her early days as a writer, where she became famous, and where she died of a heart attack at the age of 73.

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3:49am

Mon May 28, 2012
Dead Stop

The Graveyard Of Shelved Ice Cream Flavors

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:19 am

Headstones in Ben and Jerry's "Flavor Graveyard" are dedicated to bygone favorites such as Oh Pear (1997), Makin' Whoopie Pie (2002-2003), and Urban Jumble (2000-2001). Click the enlargement for a detailed view.
Ben and Jerry's

The first installment in Dead Stop, Morning Edition's summer road trip series about interesting gravesites in America.

When the Ben and Jerry's ice cream company kills a flavor, it's treated with respect — including a burial in the company's "Flavor Graveyard."

"I think we've got the best, and the not-best, up here," Sean Greenwood, Ben and Jerry's Grand Poobah of Publicity, says from the cemetery in Waterbury, Vt.

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