My uncle Ike tells this story about his older brothers, twins Wister and Wilbur Ware, that had been in the mortuary business together, for many years, over in Contraption, Ky.

Uncle Wister, also had a used car business, as a side line, located in the back lot of the mortuary.

After several years of discussion, debate, and arguing over the subject, they decided to build a new facility.

Finally, after obtaining a large piece of property on the outskirts of town, over near the vinegar works, so called as a lot of folks over that way stayed “pickled” most of the time,

construction was at last begun.

It was to be the Taj Mahal of mortuary facilities, featuring all the latest innovations available at the time.

The brothers most came to blows over one item in the master plan. Uncle Wister was holding out for a Starbucks, to be installed in the foyer, but Wilbur objected most violently. He  claimed that such an operation might be fine for a used car facility, but hardly the thing for this endeavor!

Well, the building was completed in the course of time, sans the Starbucks, and all was

right in management.

Finally, the time came for the grand opening of the new mortuary, and newspaper ads had to be made, and as Wilbur was busy with moving, he left the advertising of the opening to Wister..

Of course Wister needed to have a clearance sale for the used car business in preparation for moving the cars to the new location.

The resulting ad opened with the Grand Opening of the W & W mortuary, and  the details thereof, and included the following statements.

“We proudly announce the opening of our new facility, featuring the latest items in the

industry. Our showrooms hold the latest in internment items including concrete vaults, caskets, urns, etc.

“Several one owner, late models available, low mileage, great discounts on scratch and dent models, a few re-pos at amazing prices! Check out these fantastic deals at the W&W mortuary’s Grand Opening Saturday, May 23, located 1313 Vinegar Works Drive!

Wilbur read the ad, “whipped up on” Wister, and they haven’t spoken  to each other in years!


It has often been said that you should never go into business with family members!

Another old axiom says, “If you want a job done well, do it yourself!”

Truer words seldom spoken!






  1. Great article Ray. Looks like W & W had a C & C (Caskets & Cars)business. Their add should have read: “Ride to your destination in style”. 🙂

  2. Good one.
    I wonder if casket companies factory outlets where you can get good deals on “seconds”.

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