Saturday, May 15, 2010
A Cemetery Mystery
J. Edgar’s grave is a few yards from Clyde Tolson’s. His final resting place is in the Hoover family plot, one of the rare sites in the cemetery to be surrounded by a fence. This, possibly, was done to avoid grave desecration. J. Edgar was a detested man, and in the minds of many remains one to this day.
Clyde Tolson’s is nestled in what is known as the cemetery’s gay corner. Next to him, sleeping for all eternity, are several gay war veterans, and William Boyce Mueller, the founder of the Forgotten Scouts who died in 1993.
Mueller, the grandson of Boy Scouts of America founder William Dickson Boyce, founded his organization to honor former Scouts who were gay and, according to a 1991 story in the Boston Globe, to counter the Boy Scouts’ beliefs at the time that gay men were somehow at odds with family values. An early member of the Forgotten Scouts was author Armistead Maupin.
Maupin might have found a good mystery to write about, namely, why is the grave of Tolson located in the area seemingly reserved for gays, when the man himself was never outed during his lifetime? How did this happen? Can someone in Tolson’ family, a relative with a truly dark sense of humor or perhaps an ax to grind, claim responsibility for this amazing feat of after-death change in sexual orientation?\
The Nation’s Capital is full of small and great mysteries. This is one of them.
Photo: Hoover and Tolson in 1931