Clipped From The Miami News

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 - The four-wheeled machine's steel claw, which...
The four-wheeled machine's steel claw, which had cut through the solid rock like a hot knife through warm butter to cut the burial trenches, reached out and down to scoop the dug-up crumbled rock and, as gently as such a machine could, cover the tiny caskets. As the machine did its deed, the entourage moved south, then east to the trench that received adults. By now Reed had left and Healy had transferred the particle board casket to his station wagon, which he drove to the adult grave site. There the inmates removed the casket, resting it on the ground. They lifted the cover a requirement of the county to make sure Healy had done the final work. He had. The man's hair was combed, and his beard neatly trimmed. He had been nicely dressed in a clean suit, including shirt and tie. Horror stories are easy to come by in the burial business. Gaenssien has heard them all, often about what supposedly happens in the indigent cemetery that she's in charge of. , The charges range. Some have it that the county just bulldozes the indigents into mass graves. Some say they just stack the caskets one on top of the other, triple-decking them, even stacking them five on top of each other. One story that keeps making the rounds is that the caskets are buried standing on end all of this in the name of space. Others say the funeral directors simply wrap the bodies in news. papers before boxing them. The grisly stories go on and on. Gaensslen laughs and shakes her head at the tales. She doesn't doubt that they are told, because she has been asked by people if they are true. Where the stories come from, she doesn't know. Perhaps, she speculates, an overzealous funeral director is trying to hold out for a private funeral and tells such stories to scare the families into a better deal. She doesn't know. But if she found that such was the case, she would raise hell. "First of all, we've done a lot over the years to make our cemeteries things of dignity. I'm very proud of that. The bodies are dressed, completely made up, as if they were going to have the finest funeral in town. "And our graves are very generous. Our adult graves are five feet wide and 10 feet long, which is bigger than any private cemetery in Dade County. We allot one five-by10-foot space for four babies. We used to use the same space for two, but they're so tiny and space is at a premium in Dade County. Because of grave expense, some private Dade cemeteries actually do allow double-decking of bodies in graves if they're in the same family." I IT they're In the tame ramily.- P

Clipped from
  1. The Miami News,
  2. 27 Feb 1984, Mon,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 10

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