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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


AUG 17, 1996

THE PANHANDLER

While in downtown Philadelphia, I decided to go to the Christ Church Burial Grounds and pay my respects to Ben Franklin. When I got there, I was pretty upset at finding a black man panhandling inside the locked walls of the cemetery right on top of the grave.

The guy was having the tourists pitch coins on top of the grave. He was telling them that if the coins came up heads they would have good luck. Every once in a while, the guy would scoop up the coins.

I was really upset at this. I talked to a National Park Ranger about it but he said that neither him or the park service could do anything because the cemetery was private property. It would take the sexton of the cemetery to do something about it.




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