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Larry (#47255152)
 member for 7 years, 2 months, 13 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo Oh, Oh, I detect a trend is happening! I have thus far this spring volunteered to take photo's of memorials for others on FAG. Of the eight volunteer expeditions, only two humanoids have responded by indicating appreciation for a job well done! Anyway I hack it, this is a dismal percentage of grateful people.

Geeee Wizzzz, that reflects poorly on those using this wonderful site. Kindness and appreciation should be the norm, not the exception!

I enjoy driving out to the local cemeteries with camera in hand, water bottle, sun tan lotion, and ghost protector spray in my cemetery friendly tote bag. What a feeling of jubilation when I find the elusive grave marker. I jump for joy and sing a favorite song from the rock group The Grateful Dead. I high five myself and pat myself on the back in jubilation.

Often I break the speed limit as I high tail it back to my double wide trailer to download my days work. I can imagine the delight and glee of someone opening up their email to find the news that their request has been met. Alack, alas, I wait and wait and wait for a congratulatory response.

You guessed it. I don't hear a darn word from these knuckleheads! Apparently these humanoids think volunteer means "YOU OWE ME!"

Everyone I tell in my coffee group agrees I am stupid to continue doing the same thing and expecting a different response. For a long time I held out hope for humanity. If I have to do 8-10 good deeds to receive 1-2 positive responses, I thinketh this venture to be a Maximus Stupidity on my part. Thus, today in the year of our Lord 2017, I will be a retired volunteer. No more Mr. Nice Guy. I will feel comfortable with the title of retired old coot!

It was a long winter in the Tundra Land called Minnesotah. Cemeteries were frozen over, snow-blocked, and crusty with ice. When you die in the North Country, your body might wait until spring before the ceremony begins! (Ever see them Swedes dig a grave using an ice auger?)

Over seven years ago I came upon Find A Grave. What a life saver Find A Grave was. I had just retired and discovered the golden years were challenging. Three things are required for a happy and satisfying walk into the sunset. They are: 1. Friends & Family 2. Outside interest, aka hobbies, sports, etc. 3. Plenty of moola, aka money. The combination of all three add up to good prospects for your senior years. Of course good health is most important of all.

I ended up with 1 out of 4 of the above. You can guess which one. That is where Find A Grave saved my life! I established over 50,000 memorials in two years. Since then I have slowed down as I ran out of listings. So many cremations have outdated traditional burials. In my area they figure well over half of all deaths result in cremation, thus no burial and headstone. Some how I feel future generations are being cheated. After all, cemeteries and tombstones are for survivors.

In seven plus years of membership in this unique club, I have noticed the following:

1. The words Please & Thank You are becoming rarer. Often there is no gratitude shown for my volunteering to travel to distant places to record and photograph where the loved one lay. When I volunteer and someone says "good job" I feel warm & happy. When I volunteer and do my good deeds and feel not appreciated, I feel cold, clammy, and unappreciated.

2. As a volunteer, I am unrelated to almost everyone. Since they have added the "Edit Button", I have been thrust into the position of trusting others that wish to add to the edit section. I assume they know more than I do about the memorials. Thus, I approve them. Later I find out the material is incorrect and in need of further editing. Thus, who do I believe?

3. Duplicates are a menace to society as illustrated in Find A Grave. They are like pesky mosquitoes that won't leave a person alone. One person duplicated over 3,000 of my memorials on purpose. Now, how fair is that to be credited for being buried twice? Once should do it!

General observations from me, yes I, the Great One of FAG are below.

Be generous with praise and short on criticism. Remember this is a volunteer outfit.

Duplicators will be defeated like good vs evil.

When taking photo's, take more than one picture. One closeup that can be easily read, and, another of the general location so another can use a landmark for guidance. (Like beside this flag pole.)

All editing should require a truth test for accuracy. Like sworn oaths, pledges, and swearing in ceremonies.

Show humility in all you do because some day a volunteer will be adding your memorial. Treat them as you would like to be treated. (Don't act like Darth Vader.)

Buried an unloved one means never having to say you are sorry! (Thanks Al Gore.)

Thus, I go to cemeteries because they won't come to me. This hobby is great as it requires no parking fees, very little expenses, no uniforms or special dress, and few people to offend and/or insult along the way. We are happy solitary souls doing good!

Now, may the Good Lord Bless & Keep You, now and forever more.........

 Contact: Leave Public Message
Contributions to
Find A Grave
 • 57,377 Memorials Added
 • 52,455 Memorials Managed
 • 152 Memorials/Week
 • 31,423 Photos
 • 3 Photo Requests
 • 420 Volunteer Photos Taken
 • 15,349 Virtual Flowers
 • 1 Virtual Cemetery
 • 16 Fame Ratings
 • 1 Friend
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Messages left for Larry (29)[Leave Message]
Alice Leet Lam
Lucy B. Thompson @ Richland Cemetery
First let me say that I am very grateful for all the many hours of work you have done on Find A Grave as a contributor. I was especially delighted to find the memorial you created for my great-great grandmother, Lucy B. Thompson -- Find A Grave Memorial# 76742497. I am sending you a personal message through her edit tab.
Added by Alice Leet Lam on May 25, 2017 6:19 AM
Barbara McCully
RE: Southwest Iowa Connections
I'm about an hour drive from Corning! I worked in Creston for 25 years. Live right on the Mo/IA line SW of Mt. Ayr. I was actually raised in MO 6 miles from where I live now. What a small world!
Added by Barbara McCully on May 24, 2017 3:54 AM
Ingemann Danish Lutheran Cem
Thank you for your memorials. They helped me finish filling some blanks on my family tree. Happy Hunting,
Added by nillarita on May 23, 2017 6:40 PM
Chuck Johnson
A sincere thank you for everything.
Hello Larry,

A sincere thank you for everything and updating the data for Johan Gottfried "Fred" Swanson/Svenson #70669308. You are what makes Find a Grave great with all of your contributions! I have looked at your photo requests, as I always do for contributors, and unfortunately there not close to me in Racine, WI.

For Fred Swanson, I am not related and just responded to a photo request from someone in Sweden. I travel to Grand Marais, MN a couple times a year and like yourself, just want to help others.

A sincere thank you,

Added by Chuck Johnson on May 23, 2017 1:30 PM
Cathy W.
Thank you for being generous.
I just wanted to say Thank You for your service to others here on Find A Grave. You are much appreciated. I have never asked for a transfer, edit, or sent you a photo request, but I did read your bio and see that you are retiring. I felt what you wrote was spot on. Thank you again,
Cathy ( in Nebraska)
Added by Cathy W. on May 22, 2017 11:13 PM
Sue Downhill
Your Bio!
Hey Larry, here by way of your friend Beth's page... first of all, love your sense of humor!
Second... your comments on -
(1) Please and thank you... spot on!!
(2) Stolen Creations... my pics and/or bios are stolen yes, and not even a word of thanks! UPloaded to uh-hem, ancestry as if they were their own!! I sorta get even by posting a "Comment" that the bio or photo was uploaded by... (me) on (date) to #___. The responses I get from the "Comment" on the stolen info is generally from a person who unknowingly saved a copy of the stolen pic or bio!!! go figure!
The real irony is that they don't even have the courtesy to leave a flower!
(4) Cremations... National Cemeteries have cremation burial & columbarium's I've done one in our area posted a pic of the vault and one of the whole columbarium.
(5) Photos... close up & distant... agree 100%
Okay! already! don't want to wear you out!!!
Just keep on keepin' on!
I, for one, appreciate everyone who posts anything to Find A Grave!
Added by Sue Downhill on May 21, 2017 12:55 PM
Brian Yerka

Thanks for your reply to my message. I really don't know much about Lackawanna County. I have only been there as a teen. My wife and I plan to take some family history vacations after I retire and Dickson City is high on our list.

We currently live in Fridley where I work at the Cummins Power Generation plant. I plan to retire at the end of April 2021 so I am now under 4 years and counting. We plan to return to Meeker County then.

As I stated, I am fully documenting Lake Ripley cemetery in Litchfield. I am putting the finishing touches on Div. 1, Sect. 1, last minute photos to reconcile and checking to be sure I haven't missed someone. We plan to go to Litchfield for Memorial day services at the cemetery and do a final sweep of the section to be sure I haven't missed anything before calling it done. Then on to section 2. My wife and I have already photographed that section, then I will reconcile the plot map the city gave me and post a Find A Grave on everyone in that section, just as I have done for section 1.

If you go to Litchfield Cemetery, you can poke around the interments and see what I have done.

Take care and keep in touch.

Brian Yerka
Added by Brian Yerka on May 21, 2017 11:54 AM
Barbara McCully
RE: Sunami of winter returns.........
Yes, we turned our heat back on yesterday here in SW Iowa. No snow forecast, but we have had plenty of rain. The sun came out this morning, raising my hopes for the day, but it could only stay for 20 minutes. Hopefully summer will be here soon----
Added by Barbara McCully on May 21, 2017 9:51 AM
Steve M
Thank you Larry
As I was driving across the country on my first serious vacation in 10 yrs, I thought.... it's not far to my dad's hometown of Sioux City so why not stop by my Grandparents old house. Then I thought I should stop by cemetary they and my uncle were buried at. The only problem for me was I was there at the ages of 13,19, and 35 yrs old. Always a passenger with my Dad. I had no idea where they were buried at this point. I thought why not google it, not expecting any positive results. To my surprise I found memorials to all three with family histories too. All thanks to you sir. Thank you so much. I truly appreciate the work you did and hope you know what it means to me. Hopefully many others will stumble upon the good work you have performed in the future. God Bless You. Steve

PS. Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the World
but the heart has its beaches
its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you
are the song that the morning brings
but the heart has its seasons
its evenings and songs of its own

Added by Steve M on May 21, 2017 2:08 AM
Brian Yerka
FAG Experiences
I'm sorry to hear that you have had such negative experiences from others for the work you do. So far I have had very positive interactions with those who have asked for a photo or other information and I enjoy collaborating with other contributors in my local area.

I have only been a Find A Grave contributor for just over 1 year and my contribution has been small compared to yours but I am concentrating on a few cemeteries and in the process of fully documenting a small handful - the largest being Lake Ripley in Litchfield, MN. I plan to make Find A Grave my post retirement occupation and will be concentrating on Meeker, McLeod, Kandiyohi, and Wright counties.

I want you to know that there are many of us out here who appreciate the work you have done, even though I don't remember contacting you before, I hope that these few words of encouragement might provide some solace for the negative feedback you have apparently received.

Thank you for all your hard work.

Brian Yerka
Added by Brian Yerka on May 19, 2017 7:21 PM
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