I grew up across the field from the town cemetery. My grandfather was the caretaker, and later my father. It was a part-time, voluntary town position which they gladly undertook. I think both of them enjoyed the solitude of the cemetery and felt it was a duty worth doing.

My Mom would walk with me up and down the aisles between plots, teaching me to respect the graves and not walk on them, not to mention they could sink in from settling. We'd talk about who some of the people were, some were relatives, some she had known. Some she didn't know. Both she and Dad would show me subtle depressions in the grass in the lower portion of the cemetery that indicated those that were pauper graves, unmarked and forgotten by most. My grandfather had shown them where they were, and I in turn now knew. I often wonder if anyone back home knows anymore.

I've been doing some research on poor farms or poor houses in Minnesota, and it brought to mind those graves. Listening to this documentary touched me greatly, and made me think how there are always those among us, as Jesus said, that need a helping hand. There but for the grace of God go I...