Walking backwards

October 31, 2022

English teacher Regina and her husband, Dave, lived in a funeral home for about 10 years. 

Dave was a funeral director; he started his journey in the funeral business during the 80s at his summer job in Oklahoma City at Hahn-Cook/Street and Draper Funeral Directors. At the time, Dave was studying at the University of Central Oklahoma to receive a creative writing degree, but he later switched to a science degree with a minor in English.

“The first funeral home I worked at was a very wealthy funeral home,” Dave said. “It was just the way it was. At night when I would close up, they had this dock outside, and they kept all these custom caskets out there. I would always imagine vampires sleeping in those things. My creative writing skills would go nutso.”

As a funeral director, Dave was making $30-40 an hour. A funeral director arranges funerals (gathering all the information such as the death certificate and obituary), directs the funeral and does the embalming.

“There’s two things about it that are really good,” Dave said. “You can always help people through the worst time in their life, and nobody wants to do it so you’ll always have a job. I enjoy it. I enjoy helping.”

When Dave’s boss at Hahn-Cook came into the funeral home where his offices resided, the boss gathered all 50 of his workers, including Dave, into the chapel.

“Dave Tomlinson, will you stand up?” his boss said.

“Yes, sir,” Dave said, thinking he was in trouble.

“I can always tell if Dave’s closed up because when I walk in and open the door, there’s not a single footprint in the whole carpet in the funeral home,” his boss said. “It’s so beautiful. Now, that’s the level of detail I’m looking for and for the people that work for me.”

Inside the towering atrium and the funeral home surrounded by trees with a fountain, Dave only kept the shag carpet spotless because he would vacuum backwards from the front of the funeral home all the way out the back.

“I didn’t want to turn my back on the dead people when I was vacuuming,” Dave said. “It was just because I was scared. That’s why it looked so pretty.”

Leave a Comment

The Red Ledger • Copyright 2023 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in

Comments (0)

The Red Ledger values the opinion of its readers and encourages them to discuss its content. All comments are subject to approval by The Red Ledger staff. The Red Ledger does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Comments are reviewed as often as possible. Comments with inappropriate content will not be published. Once submitted, comments become the property of The Red Ledger. To see our full Comment Policy, visit https://www.theredledger.net/about-us/policies/
All The Red Ledger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *