Don't Laugh, You're Next

Meet two men who have the stones to face death

"One of the first monuments I ever did was for a young man who got shot. His dad came in and out almost every day while I was working on it, looking at the portrait as it was a drawing, and then looking at the portrait as it was going on the stone, going, 'He had a dimple here,' or whatever.

"He was pretty cool and real light-hearted, and his friends would come in. I met a lot of the people that had been around the kid. And everybody was happy and fun. We had just gotten done cleaning it and were getting ready to put it out. The dad came in and we turned the cart around and he looked at it, and everything changed. It hit him. Choked up. Tears in his eyes. I was like, 'Oh, man. That's what we're doing. That's what this is.'"

Joe plays drums in an as-yet-unnamed indie rock band (they make their debut at the Uptown Bar on Thursday, August 18.) Sean skateboards and builds furniture. Both men practice martial arts. They are young, strong, and alive.

This afterlife brought to you by St. Francis, Joe Huber (left), and Sean Mooney
Daniel Corrigan
This afterlife brought to you by St. Francis, Joe Huber (left), and Sean Mooney

"I deal with death every day, but it's almost not a reality for me," says Sean, his tattooed arm etching a detail into a small marker as Joe hauls another slab on a forklift. "I'm not afraid of it in any way. Not that you don't care about anything--just live to the fullest every day, because you never know. We've made a lot of stones for people our age and younger."

Jim Walsh can be reached at 612.372.3775 or jwalsh@citypages.com.

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