Traditional Is Not Always Traditional

Funerals, at least in the United States, in Europe, and in most societies influenced by traditional western philosophies of Christianity or Judaism have a certain commonality. Mourners dress in black and sit through a somber ceremony accented with prayer in a church,...

read more

Reading The Tea Leaves

Technology has transformed society rather dramatically over the course of the past 120 years, and yet the cemetery has changed little in the last 1,000 years. However, if we look toward the not so distant future it is easy to imagine that technology will render the...

read more

And Now For Something Very, Very Different

Ancient Egyptians did not invent mummification. Nor were they the only society to practice mummification as a funeral ritual. However, they may have been the only society to make it an art form and they were surely the only people to be so prolific in its use. How...

read more

From Dust to Dust

The allure of cemeteries as a tangible link to history is international in nature. Countless Hollywood epics such Lara Croft Tomb Raider and Raiders of the Lost Ark have capitalized on that fascination that is often rooted in childhood stories about the discovery of...

read more

For The Rich & Famous

There is an old adage that the rich and poor put their pants on the same way, one leg at a time. It has also been said that death is the great equalizer. As true as these statements may be, when it comes to funerals the rich and famous often find ways to take their...

read more

Through The Ages

John Sbarbaro of Sbarbaro & Company Undertakers, now Sbarbaro Funeral Home, in Chicago strongly believed in diversification of his business interests. In addition to his services as funeral director, Sbarbaro also served as the assistant district attorney in Chicago....

read more

Unpopular But Important

The making of final arrangements including estate planning is an unpopular subject. It is an unpleasant task as it forces us to focus on mortality. According to a recent survey by the National Funeral Director's Association, only 21 percent of Americans have discussed...

read more

A Surprising Discovery on Route 66

Just west of El Reno, Oklahoma, Route 66 enthusiasts zip along the weathered and cracked asphalt headed for the next destination. Few notice the sign for Fort Reno at the entrance to a long driveway. Fewer still make the short drive that provides access to the museum,...

read more

Changing Times

A new book written by author Jim Hinckley published by Rio Nuevo Press is scheduled for release this fall. The subject matter might be a bit troubling for some readers as it is in essence a look at the dark side of Route 66, a highway that is most often viewed from...

read more

Portal Into A Lost World

The gateway seems to be a portal into a lost world. The rush of modern life, and even the sounds of traffic, seem to vanish almost immediately after entering Heiliger Sand (Holy Sands), a rare historic site and forested enclave in Worms, Germany, a dynamic city where...

read more