Resurrecting reputations Pair visit graves of famous, then revisit their lives for book.
, By Jo-Ann Greene, Books Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Soon after state worker Joe Farley retired, he and former boss Joe Farrell decided to yoke up again and write a book. It would chronicle the two friends' travels along the length of the Lincoln Highway.
Then Farley's wife and her book club told them someone had been there, done that.
Not to say Farley was despondent, but his thoughts turned to death -- or at least to prominent people buried in Pennsylvania. Sportswriter Red Smith's memorial tribute "To Absent Friends" suggested to him a different book and a different road trip.
This time Farley's wife and her book club approved.
That's how two volumes of "Keystone Tombstones: Famous Graves Found in Pennsylvania" came to be published by Sunbury Press, Mechanicsburg, according to Farley's introduction to Volume 1.
Several pages in each volume are devoted to the famous and the infamous, with a short biography, black-and-white photos of the people and their graves, and recommendations for nearby attractions "If You Go" to the sites.
Such tips include where to find "fishbowls of beer and great pizza" near Harrisburg Cemetery, for example. Maytown native Simon Cameron, Lincoln's Secretary of War, lies there.
Volume 1, published in 2011 with a photo of Columbia Cemetery on the cover, includes not only Cameron's grave but the Woodward Hill Cemetery's President James Buchanan and first U.S. Speaker of the House Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg; Lancaster Cemetery's Gen. John Fulton Reynolds; and Trinity Lutheran Church graveyard's Thomas Mifflin, a Founding Father.
Volume 2, published late in 2012, has that other denizen of Lancaster Cemetery, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus Stevens; Lititz Moravian Cemetery's Gen. John Sutter, of California Gold Rush fame; and Bergstrasse Cemetery's World War II "Band of Brothers" Capt. Dick Winters.
(Lancaster Newspapers "Scribbler" columnist Jack Brubaker gets a thank-you in Volume 2.)
But besides those countians, the reader will find such notables as Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, authors Pearl Buck and Zane Grey, artist Andy Warhol, and Jim Thorpe and Harry Kalas from the world of sports in Volume 1. Music makers Jim Croce, Stephen Foster and Bessie Smith and TV's Fred Rogers are a sampling of those in Volume 2.
Each book has a section with photos of unusual tombstones. The oversized paperbacks are indexed and have close to 200 pages each, featuring about two dozen people each; they are priced at $19.99.
As Farrell noted via email, the authors appeared on PCN's "Pa Books" show twice and the cable TV network made a 29-episode series out of Volume 1.
He also told the Harrisburg Patriot-News that he and Farley are working on Volume 3, which will include Penn State coach Joe Paterno, boxer Joe Frazier and U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter.
For more information, visit keystonetombstones.com.n