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NPR Series: Dead Stop

  • Arts & Life
    There’s something about cemeteries – especially when they are old. Denver’s Riverside Cemetery is 136 years old and has been hosting a handful of brave…
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minn.; he's associated with that city, as well as Paris, the Riviera and New York. But his family had deep roots in Maryland, and he's buried in Rockville, next to a highway between strip malls and train tracks.
  • In order to be buried at Coon Dog Cemetery in northern Alabama, a dog must have a proven track record for hunting raccoons. It's a tradition that started 75 years ago with the special bond between a hunter and his dog, Troop.
  • Many residents of the Boot Hill cemetery in Tombstone, Ariz. — including gunfighters, miners, saloon keepers and train robbers — met untimely ends.
  • While the cemetery that houses the artist's grave is conventional, the grave site itself is anything but. Fans and admirers regularly leave colorful mementos on his tombstone outside of Pittsburgh, and a local artist and Warhol historian even holds graveside birthday parties for the late pop art con.
  • Some 60,000 people have been buried in El Paso's Concordia Cemetery. The Texas graveyard is the final home to gunslingers, Mormon pioneers, Chinese immigrants, Mexican revolutionaries and Civil War veterans. Its desert setting is a venue for a popular Day of the Dead festival and nightly ghost tours.
  • California's Gilliam Cemetery appears to have more occupants as of late, but it's not only because new bodies have been buried there. Instead, old headstones that were claimed by the earth a century ago have been resurrected.
  • Bill Wilson's simple grave in Vermont makes no mention of his work — co-founding Alcoholics Anonymous. But that doesn't stop people from visiting it, especially on the first Sunday in June. There, they celebrate Wilson, and his role in helping them change their lives.
  • Dorothy Parker considered New York City to be her beloved hometown: It's where she grew up, where she wrote many darkly humorous poems and short stories, and where she became famous. But today, Parker's ashes can be found not in New York, but in Baltimore.
  • For our summer cemetery road trip series, we visit Ben and Jerry's "Flavor Graveyard" in Waterbury, Vt. Here, ice cream flavors that the company has killed off are memorialized. "You feel bad when the good ones just don't make it anymore," Ben and Jerry's Grand Poobah of Publicity, Sean Greenwood, tells host David Greene.