Andrew Lumish is known as the “The Good Cemeterian” for meticulously cleaning and restoring the gravestones of veterans. He joined Glenn on radio Friday to share his story.
A photographer in his spare time, Lumish came across headstones dating as far back as the Civil War, and was astonished to see the beautiful old gravestones were covered with dirt, mold and other grime.
“It kind of infuriated me,” he said. “I was really upset by it.”
He decided to learn how to clean gravestones properly, and his labor of love took off. He has since been honored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
John Newton Dugger was born more than 141 years ago on June 2nd 1876 when Ulysses S Grant's occupied the Oval Office as the 18th President of the United States... ▪▪▪ Interesting events that occurred during Mr. Duggers birth year included... •• On March 7th 1876... Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for his new invention... He calls it the "Telephone" •• On June 25th... The Battle of Little Bighorn takes place... 300 men of the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer are wiped out by 5000 Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes lead by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse... •• On August 1st 1876 Colorado is admitted as the 38th state in the Union... John and his Mother Martha lived with Martha's Brother Newton Dugger in Hillsborough County, Florida…John’s uncle served with the Confederate States Army in Company 57 Georgia Infantry during the Civil War… On August 1st 1883, Uncle Newton was granted 159 acres of land in return for his military service which he utilized for general farming as a source of income… John Newton Dugger passed away on August 23rd 1895... He was just 19 years old... John Newton Dugger... Before & After... #veteran #army #military #tampa #tampabay #bayarea #florida #history #historic #picture:#confederatestatesarmy #civilwar #soldier #military #cemetery #monument #tombstone #gravestone #graveyard_life #photography #picture #before&after;
With each restoration, Lumish has uncovered the story behind headstone --- which is the reason Glenn wanted to talk to him.
"You said one phrase that just sounded like it was twice as loud as anything else. You said, 'I'm uncovering history.'" Glenn said
Initially cautious about telling these personal stories, Lumish ultimately decided it was the right thing to do.
“Nothing's a flat road. Nothing goes in a straight line. So early on I decided we're going to tell their story, but tell it in their entirety, ” Lumish said.
For now, Lumish's work can be seen on social media, but Glenn had a gut feeling that might change soon.
"I just have this feeling that what you're doing is way beyond anything that you might even understand at this point. You've started something really, really amazing," Glenn said.