Once a year, on May 15, a dozen red roses appear on the grave of Eugene Ormandy in the churchyard of Old Pine Street Presbyterian.
The roses are no mystery, but the question of why the remains of the Philadelphia Orchestra's fourth music director, a Jew, reside in the cemetery of a Presbyterian church - the answer is not so clear.
What happened was this: When Ormandy was dying, his physician was Edward Viner, who was friends with Bill Pindar, pastor of the church. Pindar and Mrs. Ormandy grew to be friends.
When the subject of funeral arrangements came up, Mrs. Ormandy "didn't want the whole dog and pony show the orchestra wanted to put on," says Old Pine member Elizabeth Ostrander. And so she decided she would like to have him cremated and his remains placed at Old Pine, whose yard was also the final destination for one signer of the Declaration of Independence, a ringer of the Liberty Bell, 50 Revolutionary War soldiers and others.