Four Corners author has unique way of digging into past

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – Farmington resident and local author Connie Nordstrom spends her time in a place that some people might find unusual – Greenlawn Cemetery.

“I started coming over, and I just walked and walked and walked,” said Nordstrom. 

Until she stumbled upon an old tradition. 

Now, every year she invites the community to come to Greenlawn Cemetery to “Dine with the Dead.”

“We portray I think, last year we portrayed 10 or 12 different people buried here in the cemetery,” Nordstrom added. “A lot of people think that is weird going to the cemetery to eat dinner, but it was common in Victorian times because the cemetery was often the nicest place in town.”

It’s also a good place for those who want to dig into Farmington’s past.

“This is where all the pioneers are buried, and they are all buried here, all the people who came here and built a town from nothing,” said Nordstrom. 

But some things could still use some more digging.

“There are clues in the stones, that’s the thing about cemeteries it is the clues,” Nordstrom said.

Like the stones that predate Greenlawn’s founding in 1896.

“That’s the mysteries of cemeteries because they are lost to time, sometimes the names and dates, unless they were really influential people in the community, they become lost,” she said. 

Nordstrom is passionate about uncovering those forgotten stories.

“I mean three babies die on the same day what happened? Was it a tragic accident? Were they sick? It’s just a mystery, so I go digging,” Nordstrom said. 

And by Dining with the Dead, Nordstrom brings their stories back to life.

“It’s just carrying on an old-fashioned tradition people love coming and hearing the stories of early Farmington,” said Nordstrom. 

Nordstrom just released a new book about Greenlawn, called “Greenlawn: A History of Farmington Pioneer Cemetery, Established 1896.”