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Sunday, August 30, 2020


Back on March 12, I had beers with a neighbor in a local watering hole. That week there was all kinds of fast-breaking news that was leading to big changes in our lives-- Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson had tested positive for the new corona-virus, a couple of NBA players had tested positive, and the NCAA had announced it was cancelling its post-season basketball tournament. 

Those were the last alcoholic drinks I had inside a structure other than my own home. I'd say any drinks, but I've had water in my office on campus. 

The bar played a song performed by Wilson Pickett and my friend and I discussed the fact that his funeral had been held in Louisville. Given that we live in an area with many cemeteries, we wondered if he was buried near where we were sitting. He wasn't, as it turned out.

I mentioned that despite their proximity, I had rarely been in any of the nearby cemeteries. I noted my visits to the Colonel Sanders and Muhammad Ali graves in Cave Hill and wondered if any famous people were buried in the other surrounding cemeteries. 

My neighbor knew of one buried in St. Michael's -- 1950s film actor Victor Mature. He had visited the grave and described the highly stylized hovering angelic statue on the gravesite.

So during the quarantine, I eventually found the grave while walking.

Mature was in The Robe, which I think I've seen, and in Samson and Deliliah, which I may have seen -- and certainly knew about. His IMDB bio page reveals that he married 5 (!) times, served in the Coast Guard during WW2, loved playing golf (even at the expense of his career), and died of cancer at age 86 in 1999.  

There are many humorous quotes associated with him, including one that he allegedly uttered when he was denied entry into a Country Club in California (where he wanted to play golf). The club apparently always turned down applications from actors. He said, " I'm no actor, and I've got 64 pictures to prove it."

Here are front and side views of his grave marker, taken on different days (as apparent from the foliage):

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