My childhood was almost completely happy. There were very few times when I was troubled by much, but one thing that bothered me from time to time was my middle name. My sister’s is Louise, my brother’s is William and most of my friends had basic “normal” names. Carol Lee Thomas, Alan Jeffrey Radov, John Joseph Bowman Jr. (Oddly, I can’t remember Mike Hogan’s, but I am guessing it was probably Robert. In fact he might have been Robert Michael Hogan; named after his dad who was a famous University of Pittsburgh football player.) My middle name is Krieghoff. Maybe it was the proximity to the end of the second world war, but to me it just seemed weird. My mom’s maiden name was Krieghoff, and I guess she had reason to be proud enough of it to pass it along. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I started to understand what a cool thing it was to be named after the most famous Canadian painter of the 19th Century. Read about him here.
I had known that he was buried in Chicago, and yesterday I called the Graceland Cemetery to find out exactly where. A lovely woman called Max gave me lots of information and since Cris and I are here for a couple of days I made the trek out there this morning.
It is interesting that in 1980 the trustees of Graceland paid for and erected a new stone for his site. Max walked me through the rather complicated directions to the section where he is buried (section g, resub, lot 178). Being directionally challenged, she gave me some landmark stones and once I spotted the one below, I knew I was in business.
I was told his stone was facing East, and after wandering around a bit I found it.
It is on the west side of the cemetery, just off Western Avenue.
Max had told me that he was laid to rest (what a funny phrase for being put into the ground in a wooden box) on 8 March, 1872.
Look, somebody (me) stuck a number 6 artists brush into the ground next to the stone (seemed more appropriate than flowers).
A very cool day. Something I have wanted to do for a long time. / Chicago is such a great city. Lots of amazing architecture.
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