Sunday, April 26, 2009
Die Hard Cubs Fans Vision of Heaven
Several years ago Dennis Mascari went to visit his father at a cemetery and came up with the idea to construct a special place for special people: Die Hard, lifelong Cubs fans.
Beyond The Vines is his inspiration and will offer Cubs fans "Eternal Luxury suites" in the form of a niche to hold a funeral urn of loved ones' ashes. Ivy will be planted, a pathway will be constructed in front and around the wall using original Wrigley Field bricks, and four retired Wrigley Field box seats and a bench that was once in the Cubs' bullpen will be installed for visitors to sit on while honoring their deceased relatives and friends. Finally, a stained glass window replicating Wrigley's scoreboard will be installed.
According to Don Babwin of UPI, each of the 280 niches in the wall, dubbed "eternal skyboxes," will have an urn emblazoned with the Cubs logo...
... and a bronze baseball card with a photograph of the deceased fan dressed up in a Cubs hat, jersey, or full Cubs uniform. The individualized baseball card will include the dead fan's statistics -- date of birth, date of death, and maybe their favorite Cubs game and favorite Cub. Cubs games will also be broadcast on speakers at the wall so nobody, living or dead, will miss an inning. And if this idea appeals to more than 280 Cubs fans, the cemetery has set aside enough land to add a left-field wall topped by stained-glass rooftop scene and a right field wall topped by stained glass scene depicting the bleachers and the elevated train that runs behind Wrigley.
Here's the progress thus far...
This unique Chicago Cubs Cemetery is on the grounds of the Bohemian National Cemetery, 5255 N. Pulaski Avenue about five miles northwest of Wrigley Field. Interment in the Chicago Cubs Cemetery costs $1,295 for those already in urns, though the "Grand slam package" which includes cremation services will cost as much as $5,000. Numerous "options" will be available.
Muscari says, "Having grown up here in Chicago, I learned as a young man that Wrigley Field is not really on Clark and Addison Streets, it’s on the corner of Hope and Faith. It’s a green oasis in the middle of the city."
Very true, but it also has a well-worn alley behind it called "Frustration and despair!"
To continue the longstanding rivalry with the South-siders, Muscari relates: "Somebody asked if I could include White Sox fans on the back side of the wall and I simply told them no. Cub fans have been through enough. I want these people to be able to rest in peace."
For additional information, including rates and contact info, go here.
I've been wintering away from Chicago for 4 months and hadn't heard this story, so many thanks to my blogging friend, Goldenrod, for informing me of this developing story, even though she's a die hard Astros fan!