I just got this excellent message on my Facebook page.
It seems the mystery of “Who’s leaving smiley faces beside celebrity graves” has been solved, and the answer is rather beautiful in its guilelessness:
Hi Jason. — It’s been brought to my attention that you have been curious to who has been leaving the rock smileys on the celebrity graves… That would be me!
I also leave them on other graves that catch my attention, next to street art, and anything else that catches my attention in the Los Angeles Area. — Also as the commenter on your blog mentioned, Pittsburgh. I just came back from visiting there where I spent a lot of time visiting their cemeteries and leaving my rock smileys.
If you go to my Facebook page, you will see several albums of pictures of where I have left them.
It all started with my friend Tamra finding a little rock with a face on it, and how it made her smile. Then a few of us thought we’d leave some rock smileys around for others to find, sort of like a pay it forward type of thing. — And well, I’ve gone a little crazy with it.
And I am totally flattered that you made a blog entry about my rock smileys… 🙂
I am sad to say that when I went back to those celebrity gaves in February, groundskeepers had cleared the rocks away. But as I told Lisa, she’ll just have to replenish the happiness. And as she told me, she does.
Lisa places rocks on graves all over the country whenever they move her to do so. She calls them “rock smileys.” Sometimes people take them because they make them smile. Sometimes groundskeepers do.
“Symbolically I leave them as my way of paying respect to the dead and to leave my mark that I was there. I also hope that they bring a smile to the faces of the living and maybe the dead too…,” she told me.
I do this a lot. I always have at least a dozen rock smileys in my purse with me, and I have several bags of them in the trunk of my car. — And I go to local cemeteries often.
I would love to be able to travel more and do this. Next week I am going back to visit my boyfriend in Pittsburgh and we plan on doing some traveling and he’s a good sport about taking me to cemeteries and finding me rocks to paint. I visited 26 cemeteries within the two months I was there in March and April.
I really dig what she’s doing. I’ll bet the spirits of the departed do, too, if you believe in that kind of thing. And I do.
She’s not the only one. I got this message on my Facebook page in response:
Lisa has inspired me to make/leave Rock Smileys, in my part of the country. Mine are not as artistic as Lisa’s, and I don’t typically leave them in the same kinds of places as Lisa. She has set the standard.
And it’s one big undiscussed phenomenon. Some people paint rocks to share with cancer patients. Some paint them to brighten the day of people on wherever they go. Some people just paint them to be able to spend time with each other, and figure out where to leave them later. Maybe on a remote hiking trail. Maybe in the deli case. You never know where your smiley rock winds up after you leave it — but that’s not the point. The point is the smile.
It’s really hard not to love something as whimsical and thoughtful and goodhearted as the smiley rock trend.