As you may know, I have a habit of crudely photoshopping my head onto old Civil War and Victorian era photographs of undertakers.
Jon Austin, the general manager at the Springdale Cemetery in Illinois, has no time for such silly cheap tricks. Jon goes big or goes home. He created the Museum of Funeral Customs for the Illinois Funeral Director’s Association and is big on re-enactments.
Austin says: “I’ve tried to improve the impression year-by-year… get the bottle labels and period details right, eliminate the chrome hand pump, etc. This past weekend’s “corpse” was one of the best; he even got the death stare down!”
He won me over with the embalming (even though I’m not an embalming fan, who can resist death history?) but he REALLY got me with the turn of the century home funerals he staged at Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site in Springfield, IL.
In my future alternative funeral home, Mr. Austin is spearheading the interior design.