54 years after her death, legendary author and wit Dorothy Parker’s cremated remains have finally been transported from Baltimore, where she was initially buried, to New York City, her primary home—and her tombstone has a new inscription.
Parker was never based in Baltimore, but in her will, Parker left her entire estate to Martin Luther King Jr., though they had never met—so when King was assassinated a year later, his estate, and Parker’s as well, went to the NAACP. Parker’s cremated remains were buried by the NAACP on the grounds of their Baltimore office building. In 2019, the NAACP moved their headquarters, and Parker’s grave was left behind; the Dorothy Parker Society appealed to the NAACP to allow her remains to be moved to New York, where her family had a burial plot waiting.
The unveiling of Parker’s new gravestone was put off for a year due to COVID-19, but this past Monday, Parker fans were able to celebrate with two walking tours and festivities at the New York Distilling Company in Brooklyn—and take a look at the new gravestone. Parker’s Baltimore grave marker read, “Excuse My Dust,” due to a joke she once made in Vanity Fair; the new gravestone has a bit more gravity, but maintains the same energy. It’s an excerpt from her poem “Epitaph for a Darling Lady”:
Leave for her a young red rose
Go your way and save your pity
She is happy for she knows
That her dust is very pretty
[h/t Baltimore Fishbowl]