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Content here represents the voice of SIGNATURE SUNSETS, an informational initiative designed to broaden and brighten horizons in the funerary domain.

The material is an outgrowth of a pre-planning reference book, Pondering Leaves: Composing and Conveying Your Life Story's Epilogue, written by the author of this blog.

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

FUNERAL HOME ANTIQUES... Stationary and Mobile

Journey Journal... Venice, Florida

OLD TIME REVIVAL

At a funeral home, certainly it’s fairly routine to find antique people, or at least their vestigial shells that carried them through a long life.  But one doesn’t ordinarily walk into such an establishment and immediately sense the likeness of an antique shop.   

The owners of Farley Funeral Home have capitalized on an opportunity to share treasured relics with the ongoing stream of individuals passing through their facilities.  Upon entering the Venice site, one immediately sees insignias of the past in an area akin to a living room decorated with antique furnishings.  


A collection of canes in a corner of the room sets the stage for a walk through time.

Source:  Farley Facebook Page

But artifacts of yore are not confined only to that part of the building.  Rather, such curios of antiquity dot the domain throughout the premises, both here and at their other location in North Port.  

Source:  Farley Funeral Homes Website

An old ice box with a lift lid is conveniently situated near offices, serving a utilitarian purpose as a depot for storage of pamphlets.  Above it is a small wooden unit of shelving where an assortment of “remember when?” thimbles is on display.  Sewing machines are focal points in visitation areas amid pieces of furniture upholstered in old-world, flowery fabric.  Just in case people waiting to sign a guest book need some exercise, a butter churn is on the floor next to it.  A record player stands ready for action, probably less in terms of generating music and more in the way of evoking memories.  

Source:  Farley Facebook Page

Recollections may be further enhanced by the presence of musical instruments, such as an old piano and an organ.  

Source:  Farley Funeral Homes Website

Of course, it’s not surprising that there would be burial containment here that meshes with the motif.
Source:  Farley Facebook Page

A visitor can readily discern that the abundance of antiques is indicative of their value to the owners beyond monetary assignations.  It’s fortunate for them, as well as the community, that they own places apart from their home where conquests of their zealous passion can be consummated and appreciated.   

Information about each dated item is maintained in a loose-leaf binder chock full of pages documenting descriptive details.  All of the relics are  categorized according to the rooms in which they are located.  


Even the personnel have donned representative garb resurrected from a previous era. 

Source:  Farley Facebook Page

A presentation pertaining to Abraham Lincoln’s years offered a suitable opportunity for representative attire to bring it to life. 

Source:  Farley Facebook Page

Though epoch leftovers from bygone days are aplenty here, they are not limited to interior rooms.  Perhaps the most widely noticeable evidence of the antique concentration can be found in the garage.  There, two remnants of an earlier mode of transport are momentarily at rest, but not in peace.  

Vehicles denoting a previous generation, resplendent as earmarks of history, are maintained and ready for purposeful missions.  Use of these atypical conveyances for bodily remains is offered as an alternative to conventional means.  


A 1937 Ford hearse is one of the unusual offerings. 

Source:  Farley Facebook Page

For veterans, folks may opt for a World War II-era, 1941 Dodge military truck to pull a caisson bearing the casket.  

Source:  Farley Facebook Page

Source:  Fox News Video

A coordinating 1943 Willy’s Army jeep leads the funeral processions and may be used in the context of other commemorative tributes, particularly, placement by the graveside of a veteran following burial.  

Source:  Fox News Video

Source:  Farley Funeral Homes Website

Military processions employing these vehicles are limited to trips between the funeral home and either its own burial grounds – Venice Memorial Gardens – or the nearby Sarasota National Cemetery.  

Source:  Fox News Video

Source:  Farley Facebook Page

However, at times these alternative transporters have been diverted from their usual routes, for the sake of broadcasting to local residents their availability.  In fact, a “Spot the Farley” contest motivated people to snap a picture upon encountering one of the roving novelties and then post it on Facebook.  That rendered the folks eligible to be selected from a pool of participants who correctly answered questions about the vehicles.  

Source:  Farley Facebook Page

It’s readily apparent that the owners of this funeral home go out of their way to provide meaningful experiences, particularly in tribute to veterans.  The usual sorts of provisions through the United States Veterans Administration are complemented by the embellishments of relevant transportation.  Behind-the-scenes proceedings that traditionally take place at burial sites are preceded by a military sendoff on wheels.  The captivating sight of it is apt to draw the attention of people in the vicinity.  Some of them are veterans themselves who, upon seeing the “ruffles and flourishes” and sensing the pomp of the occasion, feel a surge of connection with their military brethren.  Often they stop, salute, and lay their hands on their hearts.  

Whether out on the road or contained within the facility’s buildings, the vintage attractions on display bespeak not only a theme, but especially a legacy of compelling regard for the lineage of our past.  While reflecting the charm of yesteryears, they engender associations that set the wheels of remembering in motion… an important step toward healing from the wounds of loss.  

Probably aged visitors who at some point in their lives have lived among such furnishings feel right at home here.  Perhaps the “home” aspect of the nomenclature, funeral home, resonates authentically for them because of Farley’s signature milieu.  It can be comforting to wallow in vestiges of embedded familiarity when immersed in the unaccustomed territory of death.  




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