Jennie and Dianne look back through the first 99 episodes of The Ordinary Extraordinary Cemetery podcast. They discuss some of their favorite episodes, highlight clips from memorable moments with guests, and share comments and reviews from listeners. Many thanks to all those who have listened and contributed to these first 100 episodes! We are so grateful! Join in the celebration of the dozens of Ordinary Extraordinary stories told, histories remembered, and a look at what's to come for the Ordinary Extraordinary Cemetery podcast. (Please forgive us for a longer than normal episode, we just couldn't help ourselves when it came to sharing what we feel is the best of the best to date.)
To learn more about Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Tomb Guards visit: https://tombguard.org/
To participate in The One Last Wave Project visit:
To purchase Bloombridge subscription or to become a Bloombridge Runner, visit: https://bloom-bridge.com/
BloomBridge is the brainchild of our founder, Kristen Allen.
Kristen has always had a love for people and flowers. She always made sure that her loved ones that had passed had flowers on their graves. “My late grandmother always said, “when it’s my time, don’t you let me be the only one out there without flowers.” I assured her I would not.” The convenience of that promise however became challenging and after much thought the idea of BloomBridge was born.
I am a Native of Waco, Texas. I graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. I joined the U.S. Army in October 2011 as a Military Police Soldier. My first duty station was Fort Carson, Colorado serving with the 59th and 984th Military Police Companies. I deployed in 2013 to Afghanistan. My next duty station was Fort Myer, VA in 2015 serving in the 289th Military Police Company. I volunteered for training at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in June 2015. I completed training, earning badge number 643. I was promoted to Staff Sergeant and Commander of the Relief in September 2016. I served in this role until my ETS from active duty in March 2018. I joined the National Guard where I earned my commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. I have since transferred to the Army Reserve where I now serve as a Platoon Leader in the 800th Military Police Company. In May 2020 I earned my Master of Science in Conservation Biology. I currently serve as the Education Committee Chairwoman for the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I am a Federal Wildlife Officer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I am married to my husband of 3 years, Brad Robinson, LCDR, U.S. Navy.
Sharon Pajka is a Professor in the Department of English. She holds a Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Virginia. Her recent publications focus on deaf characters and dead (e.g. vampire) characters in adolescent literature.
Her doctoral research focused on the portrayals and perceptions of Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature. She currently keeps a research blog on the topic: http://pajka.blogspot.com/.
She enjoys teaching courses in adolescent literature and literary studies along with teaching interdisciplinary courses, including “Vampires: Their Historical Significance in Literature, Film, and Pop Culture,” which made The Washington Post's list of "The 15 Oddest College Courses in the D.C. Region".
In 2018, Dr. Pajka completed a graduate program in Public History at the University of Richmond while developing a course focused on dark tourism.
On the weekends, you can find her in the cemetery giving history tours, and running River City Cemetarians; or, you can find her in the blogosphere at http://Goth-Gardening.blogspot.com/ where she uses “gardening” as a metaphor for living a more gothy life.
Laurilea has been an educator for the past 20 years. She has taught all levels from kindergarten to college. She holds undergraduate degrees in Theatre, Journalism and Education, and a master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction for Secondary Theatre Education from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. She is also a Freddie G. Fellow, Class of 2017.
She passionately believes in the power of the arts and how transformative they can be. Everyone has a story worthy of being heard. Arts programs encourage confidence and give students a voice!
After experiencing the devastating loss of his father and best friend, Dan Fischer turned to surfing to heal through the transformative power of the ocean.
After one faithful salt water sessions on January 4, 2022, he decided to throw out an open invitation on social media to others who may be struggling with loss. He invited them to share the stories and names of a loved ones who they'd lost and promised to etch them onto his board, as a way to forever memorialize them in the place they so deeply loved.
That inaugural board has now become a beacon of hope and that turned a simple idea into a global movement.
Andrew "Andy" Bell is a former Sergeant-Major in the US Army and a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars and a former Buffalo Soldier reenactor.