I wrote the article below to dispute the web-wide story about actor Michael Clarke Duncan’s grave being vandalized. The so-called ‘damage’ was a smiley rock placed on his grave. People in Duncan’s family were upset because the rock was painted black.
I wasn’t able to reveal the name of the woman who placed the smiley rock. I reached out to her and she contacted me. Her name is Lisa Albanese and here is the statement she made:
I am still in shock and just sick to my stomach over all of this, but my Facebook page is wide open for everyone to see. I think you’d get a better idea by looking at my rock smileys pictures (there’s several albums) and reading the comments, and getting a feel for yourself.
Here is a post from Lisa’s Facebook page that explains the Rock Smiles very well.
I would urge everyone to take a step back and see this for what is, a nice person passing out smiles.
Article written May 25, 2013. If you’ve read anything on the internet in the last few days, May 24-25, you probably already know Michael Clarke Duncan’s grave was reportedly vandalized. TMZ had the ‘exclusive.’
He is buried at a cemetery in LA. A small stone painted black with eyes, mouth and a nose was placed on Duncan’s grave.
This stone has caused a lot of controversy. The person, I won’t reveal the person’s name here, makes and leaves these stones on many graves and other places. I did reach out to this person, but they haven’t gotten back to me, so I did the story without contact. I will update this article if there is any new information.
Someone reported online (TMZ) that the stone referred to “Sambo.” This term is considered a racial slur, but is also the title of a very popular children’s book, “Little Black Sambo.” The name of the book is now, obviously, not a nice thing to call a person of color.
In explaining the placement of this stone, I must explain a kind of subculture.
There are thousands of people around the world, with many centered in and around LA, who visit cemeteries with celebrity graves or interesting memorials.
I have done this since I was 16-years-old. I can’t really explain what the attraction is except to say it’s about history and the feeling of places and people that can still be felt. At least, this is what it means to me.
For a bit of this experience online there are two excellent websites that are actually run by the same person. Findagrave.com and Findadeath.com are sites that are used to find where celebrities and historical people are buried. Findadeath is also a place to talk about the famous and infamous with other like minded people.
Some of the things people do at the grave sites of well-known people are to leave pennies, flowers and the smiley stones.
Mr. Duncan’s grave was not vandalized, it was given a little hug.
I do site TMZ as the site that did the article about Michael Clarke Duncan’s grave, but I will not link to it because I feel it was just another leap with a look that they do so well.