Friday, September 25, 2009

Scott Lawrence

This week I turn the spotlight on PTAP team member Scott Lawrence.

I've been working with Scott since 2003 when he approached me with the lunatic idea of restoring a completely buried cemetery. Apart from the sheer scale of the undertaking, there was the added problem of dealing with not one, but two government bureaucracies...state and federal...because the cemetery in question sits smack in the middle of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in St. Mary's County. Neither bureaucracy, at the outset, was keen on a grassroots, amateur effort at restoration; but nor was there any prospect of a well-funded, professional restoration effort of this cemetery which had been demolished in advance of base construction in 1943.

As it turns out, the St. Nicholas Cemetery Restoration Project became a professional undertaking as Scott sought the training necessary to properly repair the many broken monuments (more than 100). Here Scott is pictured with one of the first, if not the first monument that we re-erected at St. Nicholas...the grave marker of John Albert Edgeston, an African American infantryman who died soon after his return home in 1919.

Scott has undertaken restorations at a number of cemeteries in the region since we began the St. Nicholas project and, when he isn't digging with the PTAP team, he passionately promotes the preservation and restoration of cemeteries. We anticipate completion of the restoration in the next few months, six years after we began, re-erecting over 200 monuments.


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