According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Pick Up Your Casket and Move It Buster - Please? I'll Pay You

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pick Up Your Casket and Move It Buster - Please? I'll Pay You

If you’re like me and Sam, you aren’t overly fond of moving. Picking up your old kit bag and all the other detritus of living someplace for several years and relocating to new digs is a pain in the tushy. And speaking of tushy, how’d you like to have to move out of your grave to a new hole in the ground? If that ain’t enough to haunt your spirit, Sam and I don’t know what is.

Now, I’m a senior right-of-way agent. You probably didn’t know that did you? You probably didn’t care either. But I am one of only about 10, 000 people in the United States who has, through experience and education, attained the status of SRWA or senior right-of-way agent. And sometimes we right-of-way agents have to relocate people and their belongings. Being an SRWA means I’m eminently qualified to do just that. I buy property for road building projects, bridge building projects, power lines, sewer lines and so on - usually for a government agency. My work generally is ruled by the guidelines of the Uniform Relocation Act, so you are well protected against unjustifiable seizures of your property under this process we call eminent domain, and you must, by law, receive just compensation for selling your property and relocating.

But, apparently cemeteries aren’t covered by the Uniform Act. So, how does a right-of-way agent compensate dead people for moving them? Glad you asked you ghouls.

An article by Melody Carvajal and Susan Grzybowski titled “With Reverence and Respect: Relocating A Cemetery, which appears in the July/August issue of Right Of Way Magazine, says “Acquiring and relocating a cemetery provokes intense concerns that require a high degree of sensitivity and understanding,” and cemetery relocation is “not for the faint of heart.” Sam and I can dig that.

Carvajal and Grzybowski say that the main components of graveyard moving involve assembling genealogy and other information about the deceased and their families or next of kin, assembling a history of the use of the land in question as a cemetery, careful mapping of gravesites, relocating markers and monuments and many other facets. I don’t know about the area where Carvajal and Grzybowski live, but in Washington State you don’t just pull up a backhoe and start a casket excavation without adhering to very strict laws.

Carvajal and Grxybowski say a right-of-way agent has to expect surprises when moving cemeteries and I can just imagine one of my cohorts saying to me: “I’m not going in there, you’re the senior agent here” then one of the dead unexpectedly raises up as I’m walking around his grave, puts a boney hand on my shoulder and asks: “What the heck do you think you’re doing?” Trying to inject a little humor into the situation I might say something stupid like, “We’re moving you outa’ here Bud, you’ll have to pick up your bones and skedaddle, oh, and here’s $5,000 bucks to help you find a new place.”

No, I wouldn’t do that. And personally, Sam and I don’t think we’d be moving any graves anyway - especially not at night. When I was a teenager, I remember some of my friends “parking” at the local cemetery to make out. Not me baby!

I’m sorry, but as a longtime real estate agent who knows how valuable land is - not speaking as a right-of-way agent - I’ve never really understood the waste of good land for cemeteries. Roast me and toast me when I’m gone, scatter my ashes and save our valuable land for better purposes. If I read the news stories correctly, many cemeteries are so cramped for space anyway they have to double and triple stack the bodies. And who pays for the perpetual care in those cases?

Good job on the article Carvajal and Grzybowski and kudos to anybody engaged in moving cemeteries and relocating the people in them. It’s got to be a tough job. Three bags of poop on having to perform such a job though. Sam and I get the freakies just thinking about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment