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Richie Ashburn’s gravesite is being threatened by development

May 24, 2013, 11:37 AM EDT

Richie Ashburn

Phillies great Richie Ashburn died in 1997. Until now he has been resting in peace. Some, as Victor Fiorillo of the Philly Post repots, are worried that won’t be the case for long:

His family buried him in the cemetery outside of Gladwyne Methodist Church, where all was quiet until some developers announced plans to turn the church into condos and put a parking lot next to the cemetery. Ashburn’s widow, Herberta, is calling foul.

It’s a story about suburban development, really, and the specifics of all of that kind of thing are always murky and complicated and not all of them are explained too well in the linked story. But it’s interesting anyway.

As are humanity’s customs about how we handle the dead. Sorry if it’s morbid, but I’m fascinated by that stuff. Personally I want to be cremated. Or shot into space or something. But I think more people are pro-burial. Makes me wonder what’ll happen as the land fills up with condos and strip malls and stuff. There’s a lot of room in South Dakota, but I don’t feel like anyone wants to go visit grandpa’s grave there.

  1. cubsrice - May 24, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    You only moved the HEADSTONES! You didn’t move the bodies!!!

    • Old Gator - May 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Uh-oh. You don’t think that’s how they got into the stands in the first place, do you?

    • pjmitch - May 24, 2013 at 11:55 AM


      AWESOME reference. First thing I thought of while reading the story.

  2. Old Gator - May 24, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I understand that Chris Fiorentino has volunteered to rebury Ashburn in his back yard. (This was a blatant attempt to prod Chris out of his late spring aestivation.)

    Incidentally, Craig, read by an experienced poststructuralist, that is definitely one of the greatest headlines ever to crown your blogs. If Roland Barthes had been a baseball fan, he would have had a field day with it.

  3. proudlycanadian - May 24, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    The story brought back memories of the old Irish drinking song “They’re Moving Father’s Grave To Build A Sewer”. I am sure that Gator remembers it.

  4. Old Gator - May 24, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Ah yes, the Clancy Brothers, as I live n’ breathe:

    They’re moving father’s grave to build a sewer
    They’re moving it regardless of expense.
    They’re moving his remains to lay down nine-inch
    To irrigate some rich bloke’s residence.
    Now what’s the use of having a religion?
    If when you’re dead you cannot get some peace
    ‘Cause some society chap wants a pipeline to his
    And moves you from your place of rest and peace…

    Now father in his life was not a quitter
    And I’m sure that he’ll not be a quitter now.
    And in his winding sheet, he will haunt that privy
    And only let them go when he’ll allow.
    Now won’t there be some bleedin’ consternation,
    And won’t those city toffs begin to rave!
    But it’s no more than they deserve, ’cause they had
    the bleedin’ nerve
    To muck about a British workman’s grave.

  5. jimbo75025 - May 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    As a secondary topic, would you really pay big money for a condo THAT close to a cemetary? I’m not exactly a superstitous person, but that would kind of creep me out. Is South Dakota that congested now that there is no other place available to put up a building?

    • gerryb323 - May 24, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Gladwyne is a Philly suburb. The South Dakota reference was Craig suggesting that there is no threat that congestion will cause cemeteries in South Dakota to be overrun by condos. Therefore, everyone should be buried in South Dakota or something.

      • jimbo75025 - May 24, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        Thanks, guess I just skimmed through the article. Original point still stands though, would you pay huge $$ for a condo with a wonderful view of a cemetary? Just kind of creepy to me I suppose.

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 24, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        Quiet neighbors. There’s always that.

    • ezthinking - May 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      Ashburn is buried in Gladwyne, PA, alittle North of Philly proper. And more than 1,200 miles from South Dakota.

    • Old Gator - May 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      I lived for years in a small house on the north shore of Lon Gisland right next to a small eighteenth century cemetery that had become overgrown with woods. They were the best neighbors I ever had. No barking dogs. No horrible disco music late at night. No peeping through our windows with cheap telescopes. No visiting relatives parking on our swale. A few clanking chains and unearthly moans, yes, but these generally occurred in the spring when the singing of toads in the pond generally drowned them out. I’d have no problem living next to them again.

    • chadjones27 - May 24, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      Remember, if you live next to a cemetary that you are the first line of defense in the event of a zombie apocolyspe.

      • Old Gator - May 24, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        They won’t want to eat my brain. It will give them hallucinations.

  6. mungman69 - May 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Gladwyne is the third wealthiest zip code in the country. It is in the Main Line area of suburban Philadelphia. I’m sure that there are other areas of Gladwyne that can be developed but they should just leave Gladwyne alone. A beautiful area.

  7. louhudson23 - May 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    All development is good,if there is a profit to be made,it should be done….and the developers should be able to keep virtually all the profits ,with taxation rates custom designed to be at historic minimums……..I think that covers it……

    • chew1985 - May 24, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Megadittoes. Tax cuts…tax cuts…tax cuts!!!

      You forgot the tax cuts. You also forgot MORE GUNS…MORE GUNS…MORE GUNS.

      There; now everything will be perfect again in the good ol’ USA.

  8. deathmonkey41 - May 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    I heard Chris Wheeler is a major stockholder in that development company.

    • mattjg - May 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      I come down here to post the same thing. Well done.

  9. mungman69 - May 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    They should bury Chris Wheeler now. Why wait?

    • Old Gator - May 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      They should bury Bud Light now according to the same logic.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      He’s a Vampire. It would be his natural habitat.

  10. rickhigginshtbro - May 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Doesn’t that area have enough traffic as it is? And they want to build more condos? I hope it gets turned down.

  11. drewsylvania - May 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Obama is the perfect figurehead for this country, since it is actually run by Saruman.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      I’ll give you credit for the effort. I think you meant Sauron and his puppet Obamaman.

      • Old Gator - May 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        I think Michelle Bachmann thinks she runs it.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 24, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        I don’t pay her any mind either. Luxury of being an independent. I can cherry pick based off of the person rather than some kind of party doctrine.

      • manchestermiracle - May 24, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        I agree blue, except those party doctrines tend to taint the candidate too much for me. One of the reasons I prefer third-party nominees is because they never win, so I don’t have to have my expectations dashed when it turns out they can’t govern any better than the dominant two-party yahoos we always end up with.

  12. foreverchipper10 - May 24, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    I’m with you Craig. Cremation all the way.

  13. mnfan2013 - May 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    money is more important than the dead !!! its really sad that developers have to touch every piece of dirt than can get there hands on …. including cemetaries

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