Today a Facebook friend and I went to visit the grave of the girl that my mother named me after, Dana Marie Weaver. Dana was a Jefferson High School junior, in the same class as my mother, when she was murdered on May 8, 1949 by a classmate in the kitchen of Christ Episcopal Church.
I found out about her while reading a reporter’s blog post about the “rest of the story” that she researched but chose not to write.Tom found out about the event from his mother, who in her elder years was obsessed with it, even though she lived in Salem at the time and had no direct connection to anyone involved.
He saw my blog post about the event, we connected, and when he told me yesterday that he was going to visit Dana’s grave, I asked if I could come, too.
We had a lot to talk about. Both of us had relatives who were patients at Catawba Hospital – his while it was a tuberculosis sanitarium, mine once it was converted to a geriatric psychiatric facility. We’re both interested in music – he as a musician and composer who sang with Juice Newton, which I thought was pretty cool, and he has a music video channel on YouTube.Both of our families are buried at Evergreen Burial Park where Dana is, so we visited them, too. We’ll both be buried there when our times come.
I had always been a bit miffed that my birth name wasn’t a family name. Learning Dana’s story and visiting her grave helped me feel better about the name my mother gave me, even though I swapped my birth name for a name I liked better in 1997.
It was an interesting way to spend a Sunday afternoon.