As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was held at a pauper's cemetery.
Being unfamiliar with the area, I got lost; after wandering for an hour, I finally arrived an hour late, and saw the funeral was evidently over and the hearse nowhere in sight.
There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late, then went to the side of the grave and looked down. The vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before.
As I played "Amazing Grace," the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low my heart was full.
As I was opening the car door, I heard one of the workers say:
"Sweet Mother of Jesus, I never seen nothin' like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for 20 years.''
Researching DeMaso, Del Favero, Nebbiu, Valle di Cadore and Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto, Italy.
Also researching James Blackwell, Royal Regiment of Artillery in Ashton-Under-Lyne, County of Lancashire, England. b:1827 Macclesfield, County of Cheshire, England. d: About 1889 at Garden Island, Ontario, Canada.