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PAPER TRAILS: Arkansan spotlights gravesites

by Sean Clancy | July 18, 2021 at 2:47 a.m.

Remember last week, when we spoke with the Little Rock autopsy technician who was gaining a certain level of viral fame answering questions about his job via TikTok videos?

Let's continue with that theme.

Meet Robert Finders of Conway. The 49-year-old recently started Eclectic Arkansas, a YouTube channel in which he visits cemeteries and gravesites of note across the Natural State. He's made 10 so far. Check them out at arkansasonline.com/18papertrails.

Among the places he has filmed are Gass Cemetery near Harrison, where Arkansas Razorbacks football legend Brandon Burlsworth is buried; the grave of actress Lisa Blount ("An Officer and A Gentleman") at Cedar Grove Cemetery near Floral; "Creature From the Black Lagoon" actress Julie Adams' final resting spot at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Malvern and a memorial to SEAL Team Six member Adam Brown in Hot Springs.

At Mt. Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, he visited the grave of Elizabeth "Quatie" Ross, first wife of Cherokee chief John Ross and finds rocks left by admirers on the marker of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet John Gould Fletcher. There's also a peek inside the cemetery's grand mausoleum, which is closed to the public.

On July 9, Finders posted a video of a stop at Pet Lawn, a pet cemetery in Hot Springs, where he visited the graves of Peanut, Rascal, Frosty, Boo Boo Singleton and others.

"I'm a YouTube junkie," says Finders, a St. Louis native who moved to Arkansas in 2012. "I fell down this rabbit hole of [videos] of famous graves and they were mainly all over Los Angeles. I looked for videos from Arkansas and there wasn't any."

So he started making his own.

Finders works as a contractor repairing Entergy substations. The job takes him all over the state, which gives him a chance to search for new places to film.

When we spoke late last week, he was working in El Dorado and got a tip about another pet cemetery nearby.

Finders approaches his subjects with respect and a desire to educate. Sometimes the results are chilling, like when he visits the graves of victims of R. Gene Simmons, the Dover man who killed 16 people, including 14 members of his family, in late December 1987.

Along with clips from cemeteries, he's planning videos from places in Benton that were featured in the movie "Sling Blade," the site in Grant County where a B-17 Flying Fortress crashed on March 12, 1943, and the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. He's already posted one of Villa Marre, the Little Rock mansion seen in the opening credits of the TV series "Designing Women."

"I called it Eclectic South because I like a little of this and a little of that," he says. "This is what is in Arkansas all around us, get out and see it."

email: sclancy@adgnewsroom.com

Print Headline: Arkansan spotlights gravesites

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