November 22, 2008

No marker for son of Soapy Smith...

I was very surprised to learn that no grave marker exists for my grandfather, Jefferson Randolph Smith III. I admit I am somewhat confused as to why.

In my family files I came across a map that marked his grave located at the Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, 4201 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca. Being only 40 miles from me I decided to take a day trip with my son and take a few nice photographs. In order to make it more fun for him (age 12) I thought we would also take in the Natural History museum having to only add an additional 5 miles to the trip.

The map I had was "X'd" where the grave site was so I treated it like a treasure hunt for him. I have to admit we did have fun trying to locate it. My son wanted to continue hunting for it...even if it meant reading every marker in the rather large cemetery. I suggested we go to the main office on the grounds and find out if they could help us. They were indeed very helpful, still having all the records. They confirmed no marker was ever put in place. Strike 1!

Not only was I disappointed in not being able to find a marker to photograph, but even more so at the thought that his children (my father and his siblings) did not erect one. I wondered for the rest of the day what the reasons were?

I still had the rest of the day to spend with my son, Jefferson and I was looking very much forward to taking him to the museum. Unfortunately, when we arrived we found that the entire parking lot for the museum, and every lot within miles, was taken up for a USC pre-game fair. The museum was open but no parking had been set aside for patrons. Strike 2!

What was planned as a nice family outing went bust. Perhaps I was meant to see that no marker was in place. Perhaps when the economy returns to normal the family can rally together and properly another Jefferson Randolph Smith III.

...To be continued.

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