Pandemic Inspires St. Johns Man’s New Hobby: Cleaning Gravestones
As someone who is all about the paranormal and true crime, I can appreciate spooky things, places and situations; however, I don't mess with graveyards.
I feel like I am not alone in that, aside from memorials and flowers, rarely do good things happen in cemeteries...that is cemeteries that don't have people like St. Johns' own Michael Pohl.
According to FOX 47 News, while others have picked up more "conventional" hobbies during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pohl has taken up cleaning gravestones in his spare time.
“I’m a line cook at the Wheel Inn," Pohl told FOX 47. "I keep getting laid off because of COVID so I found a little hobby in doing this.”
Now, before you think he just came up with this out of thin air, Pohl explains the decision to start cleaning gravestones at Mt. Rest Cemetery in St. Johns actually was born from his pre-existing hobby of restoring things.
He then researched what is safe to use to get gravestones nice and clean again and reached out to the cemetery for permission and got to it.
How He Does It
Pohl did say he had to do some research and found the only thing you can use to get the job done is D/2 which FOX 47 says is a stain remover that contains no bleach, salts or acids and is made, specifically, to remove mold, mildew, algae and more without damaging stones or grass.
Using D/2 and scrubbing away, Pohl said he can do about four "average-sized" gravestones per day, though larger ones can take almost all day but to him, it's worth it.
What Does Pohl Get Out of It?
Not only does it seem like one of those "oddly satisfying" kind of things to be able to remove all the buildup, moss, etc. but also it's just something kind to do to honor those who have passed on.
“It’s a sign of respect," Pohl said. "It's really gratifying being able to read something you haven't been able to read for years."
For example, FOX 47 says the oldest stone Pole had uncovered was from 1870, though just recently he cleaned one from 1855.
It's a little bit of history, a little bit of satisfaction and a whole lot of good karma for Pohl. Now someone needs to ask him if he has experienced any ghostly activity while on the job.
While graveyards are inherently creepy, here's a look at a Michigan true crime landmark:
MICHIGAN CRIME SCENE: Look Inside the Abandoned 'Jeepers Creepers' Schoolhouse
KEEP READING: Creative Ways to Bring Joy to Your Neighborhood While Social Distancing