Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Visiting the grave of F. Scott Fitzgerald by happenstance...

About a week and a half ago I went to Maryland, with the intent of going to DC and wandering around the area a little. In the interest in saving money we booked a hotel with Hotwire in North Bethesda. Well, it was actually in Rockville, MD. Cheap, but pretty nice hotel, and not too far from the metro. Good enough.

We headed into DC on Saturday afternoon, and got back to the hotel that night. As we waited for pizza to be delivered to the room, I flipped through the hotel-provided book, Rockville: Portrait of a city. I was expecting to read about shopping or restaurants, or something along those lines, but this was a book featuring a fair amount of History--being a big nerd, I was pleasantly surprised.
The first random page I looked at had an article mentioning that F. Scott Fitzgerald (author of The Great Gatsby if you've forgotten, or if you never had to read it in high school--also, the most recent movie incarnation of The Great Gatsby will be in theaters on May 10th, so it can be watched as well) was buried in Rockville, MD, of all places.

I read the article in more detail, thinking that his final resting place had to be somewhere more interesting and less suburbia/strip mall extravaganza, but no, he was buried in Rockville.
Interesting. I figured it would be a big fancy cemetery, and I hadn't seen any cemeteries really, well, there was a tiny one across from the Metro station. Right by a busy intersection. After a little searching on the GPS, I realized that the cemetery by the station, and the eternal resting place of both Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald were one and the same.

So, on Sunday morning, we visited the cemetery by Old St. Mary's Church.

Here is the church itself, you should be able to click on any of these pictures so that you can see them better.

The church is right next to a newer and larger church...also St. Mary's, but I don't think they call it New St. Mary's...that would be odd. Anyway, the cemetery is tiny which made finding the grave that much easier. It was also the only grave with a headstone and a ledger stone. People leave coins and candles, and that hat off to the side had a martini-print on the band. Apparently some visitors leave gin...we plan to do that next time.
Here are some other Fitzgeralds...
And we'll round out our visit to Old St. Mary's with pictures of some interesting grave markers. This cross was pretty impressive--and you can see how close the cemetery is to the road...
This stone had the cross broken off of the top, but it's nice to see that someone hasn't run off with it.
This one was beautiful and especially sad because it was marking the grave of an infant.
I think it's even more sad to see these other stones. The mother lost three children (the previously mentioned son aged almost 7 months, a daughter at 5 years old, and another son at 18 years old), while she lived to be almost 100.
And I leave you with the gates of heaven.

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