There was always a segment on Bugs Bunny lifted wholesale from "You Bet Your Life" when the very Groucho-like host would ask, "Who is buried in Grant's tomb?"
The answer to older audiences should be obvious, but the younger, more paranoid mind, could spin whole paranoid histories while the animated old men whispered their answer to the host.
I saw the tomb today, the General Grant Nationsl Memorial, a surprise white marble monument across the street from the fourth playground we tried while shopping neighborhoods in Harlem. We performed plays on the stairs and danced amid the columns, eating up time while we awaited the very unusual visiting times.
General Ulysses S. Grant keeps odd hours.
Starting at ten and going to four--that's not the odd part--the space is only open every other hour. The custodian and I assume Grant historian unlocks the glass door and what tourists there are file into the great, echoing atrium under the marble dome. White marble dominates. A pair of recessed alcoves opposite one another at the far wall display maps showing Civil War battles (guns) and those in which General Grant directly contributed (guns). Head down either staircase between the alcoves and you will enter the lower space, where bronze busts of other Civil War generals keep watch over Grant and what I assume to be his wife in enormous sarcophagi visible from the upper floor by a great circular hole surrounded by a white marble railing.
The custodian/historian has a tiny corner for maps, flags and relics, which none of the visitors bothered to consult.
How strange that we could see the tomb today, to enter a piece of history and, more importantly, to answer the age-old adage with, "Mr. and Mrs. Grant."