And then suddenly, last summer

The Smith monument, in rustic-face stone, was not too promising when I first spotted it (figure 1).

Figure 1. Smith monument. Mount Olivet Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author.

Yet obeying the principle of always circling around to double check the rear, it turns out I had approached it from the wrong side, the way people approach the Parthenon in Athens. The front of the Smith monument is much more interesting!

Figure 2. Smith monument front. Mount Olivet Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author.

It’s always potentially grim when you come across an anchor on a monument. It may well be that the deceased was in the navy or the merchant marine, but there’s always the possibility that Arthur went down with his ship. See how the anchor’s cable is fouled around a (rustic wood!) cross.

Find a grave opines that Arthur’s wife, Mary (1880-1967) went on to remarry after Arthur died. She is not here with her first family.

Rather, we have Arthur, his mother Annie, and his daughter Eleanor, again following the anonymous Find a grave user who consulted Eleanor’s obituary. Two sons of his are also not here in Mt. Olivet.

The anonymous user quotes and paraphrases the obituary: Annie and Eleanor were killed SUDDENLY in an automobile crash while returning from their cottage on the shore at Beverly Beach. Actually, Eleanor lingered a couple of days in the hospital in Annapolis and died on 25 March.

Now the only mystery is how Arthur earned his “SUDDENLY.” Unfortunately, Arthur seems to have gone out of the world unremarked in any official capacity beyond his tantalizing tombstone.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Arlington, VA

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