Genesee Community College's October 31 Arts and Letters Luncheon will focus on the history and lore of Western New York cemeteries. The event will be held at Tillman's Village Inn in Childs, north of Albion (corner of Routes 98 and 104), from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. that day.The October Arts and Letters Luncheon will feature Benedict R. Maryniak, an expert on regional history. He will describe the origins of many Western New York cemeteries, funeral customs over the years, and the cultural and historic significance of the cemetery designs throughout the region. His presentation will captivate anyone with an interest in regional history, cemeteries, and Western New York culture, according to Allen R. Kidder, Associate Dean at Genesee Community College at Orleans and one of the organizers of the event.Cost of the Arts and Letters event is $23, which includes lunch at Tillman's. Reservations and menu selections may be made by contacting Genesee Community College at Orleans at (585) 589-4936, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.Mr. Maryniak is known throughout the region - and beyond - for his historical knowledge and expertise. He is a co-author of Faith in the Fight: Civil War Chaplains, a well-known book about religious figures during the Civil War. He is also known throughout the nation for his part in the ABC-TV miniseries North-South, Book Two and Ted Turner's movie, Gettysburg. Mr. Maryniak is president of the Buffalo Civil War Round Table, and is a social worker by profession.The event will be a fascinating look at the region's cemeteries and the historical circumstances surrounding their creation and growth, according to Dean Kidder. "Talking to Mr. Maryniak, I learned that many of our early cemeteries were designed by people who had very specific financial and religious motives in mind," he said. "He knows many fascinating stories about the influence of prominent families in cemetery design, and many historical oddities about cemeteries throughout the region. I'm looking forward to his talk, and to welcoming people from across Western New York to the event."
The presentation will be illustrated by slides, Dean Kidder said.