Z. Madison

For when you're relaxing at home or killing company time - Z. Madison's here for you.


There Goes The Hood

I had an AHA! moment stumbling upon this on Curbed today. Not to get all Friday The 13th on you, but when my mother passed four years ago, I made the arrangements for the funeral. For those who've not been through the experience, planning a funeral is a lot like buying a car. Funeral Directors are just pimping the options and upgrades on standard models. Overloaded on Six Feet Under episodes, I was having none of that.

The Funeral Director hands me a book with various coffins to select from, immediately gushing about a $10,000 model. Now, being 24 years old (and realizing my brother and I would be paying for this little send off), my negotiation skills kicked in. FD and I haggled over a few models before a respectable oak model with a "Seashore Scalloped" silk/cotton blend interior stuck out. The fact that it was "Made By South Brooklyn Casket Company" gave me a good vibe. What sealed the deal (besides the much more affordable price tag) was that the company promised to plant a tree in my mother's memory at an undisclosed place in Brooklyn. A casket company with a heart. Sold!

Fast forward to today. I hadn't given this place a second thought since sending that check to the funeral home years ago. Bored and cruising the Net, imagine my surprise to see the post on Curbed and to realize that it's located mere blocks from where I've called home for nearly a decade. Reading the Brooklyn Papers' article that inspired the post had me laughing out loud in my cube:

"Harry Pantone, who owns the famously secretive company, refused to comment, in fact hanging up on a reporter twice. And on a recent morning, a workman warned an approaching Brooklyn Papers photographer against pressing the shutter button.

'If you take a picture, I’ll break your camera and give you a beating,' he said."

Ah, South Brooklyn Casket Company, you make my heart smile. Sorry to see you go.


At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Yeah that's kind of a bummer. At least they aren't going out of business. Sounds like a top notch company. I love the part with the camera person.

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they actually plant a tree in your moms name?

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Z. Madison said...

Jeremy - How can they keep their name and move to Queens though? The owner hanging up on reporters and the burly guy about to give a beat down are hilarious. Love it.

Anon - It was part of the contract to purchase. They sent a little note saying that it had been done. I trust that it was.

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

yeah true. I guess they'll have to change the name. They could call it the Queens Casket Co. formerly known as the South Brooklyn Casket Co. LOL. Ok bad joke. That's kind of a bummer. Too bad there isn't another location in Brooklyn.

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope they don't sell, as a neighbor for 25 years they have made the area safe and interesting, they have given away the great SBCC T-shirts to the block, and for the first ten years I lived here almost ever night Mrs. Pontone would bring me left over eggplant, "your gettin skinny you betta eat dis", she would say.

I am sure the company does very well, although I heard a high ranking employee once say, "we could be selling more boxes but the M***** F****** doctors are keeping everybody alive", I'm sure you will have to plant your own tree!

Business must be good for the South Brooklyn Casket Company after all people are dying to get those things.


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