The drive was a fair piece to the restful and elegant Mount Auburn Cemetery. Flanagan was somewhat open to my questions as we made the drive, but he kept returning to matters of the Red Sox, Ted Williams and if they still had a chance to overtake the Yankees. I love baseball, but I love it by myself, sitting in the bleachers on a hot summer day, skipping work and eating two hot dogs washed down with a cold one.
You could tell that there was nothing personal in all this Miss Yellow Roses affair, he was simply earning his pay. But who was paying him? O'Hara? Brown and Keller?
I suppose by instinct, Flanagan turned his cab into the cemetery with a certain dignity, slowing down as he went through the wrought iron arch that led into this regal estate for those who thought one ought to rest in peace with a certain sense of style. We wound our way past the graves of some of Boston's oldest families, their granite crypts bearing their granite names making sure that their lineage would never be totally forgotten.
As we passed by the marble marker for the poet Longfellow, Flanagan pulled off the narrow lane. I'm not sure he realized it himself but by being a well-schooled Catholic tradition, he removed his cap and placed it on the seat. Speaking to me through his rear view mirror, he said, "The name you need to find is O'Hara. It's straight ahead, two rows back."
I took the stroll and there it was, a family plot, a square of sixteen graves, almost a park within a park. In the center of many lesser sized stones was a rather pretentious marker, broad and tall, almost a wall of granite. Etched in stately letters was the name O'HARA, bordered with those vines that indicate that something enduring has been embraced by time. There were names upon the stones, seven names, all with birth dates and room for that fateful date when their time was finally over. All except for one. One name had both birth and death, nine years apart. Above the name stood a statue of a caring, lovely angel with arms down swept toward the name. The name read SWEET MOLLY and beneath the name the words, "Daddy's Little Angel." There were flowers in the urn, faded flowers. They were yellow roses.
I had not noticed that Flanagan had quietly made his way up behind me. He said in respectful tone, "That was the original Molly, killed by a hit and run driver. The old man still comes here once a week and talks to her. Pays me ten dollars to sit and wait. He vowed to her that he would never lose another loved one."