We were in the homestretch of a road trip to Iowa. It was getting a little dusky and I was on a road I had never taken before. We were winding up a beautiful little river valley when we went by a small cemetery. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted something that seemed....odd.
Executing a slightly reckless turn around on a road with no shoulders I went back and encountered this enigma.
It is an honest to goodness tree shaped tombstone. From March of this year.
We were in a rural area north of Alma Wisconsin. The closest community is a little placed named Cream, with four houses and a tavern. I looked up John Kuri's obituary trying to solve the mystery of how a man in the 21st century is buried under a monument type that has not been made commercially for about a century. I found no clues, but John Kuri does appear to have been a pretty swell guy.
A while back I had an email from a woman wondering where she could get a monument of this type. Her husband had died of cancer and had really liked this style of grave marker. Alas, I was not able to offer much help, just the email of a sculptor in Illinois who had replicated one recently at a very high price. The difference one supposes between an artist and an artisan.
But John Kuri found a way. I assume that in the back shed of some monument company, untouched since about 1910 there was an unused tree shaped monument. Well done sir. Well done, indeed.