It’s certainly not under this tombstone. But here lay, for a while, one of my favorite Fort Worth mysteries:
This tombstone at Rose Hill Cemetery is located beside that of Lee Harvey Oswald on the west side of the cemetery near the Shannon mausoleum in the traffic triangle of a cemetery road. But no one is buried under the Beef stone. Rose Hill’s general manager has acknowledged that no interment card is on file for the Nick Beef plot and will not divulge the purchaser of the plot.
She also confirmed that cemetery workers are not allowed to divulge the location of Oswald out of respect for Oswald’s relatives.
So, for a few years it was all a mystery. Who is Nick Beef? Who is the mystery man who bought the plot and provided the headstone? And why? Then came a theory that, after Rose Hill staff stopped providing directions to Oswald’s grave to visitors, a stand-up comedian in New York City who used the stage name “Nick Beef” bought the plot next to Oswald’s and placed the Nick Beef stone there.
Now we know that indeed “Nick Beef” is the stage name of Patric Abedin, fifty-eight, a writer, “nonperforming performance artist,” and former Arlington resident. And we know that in 1975 he paid $175 for plot 258 at Rose Hill and in 1996 paid $987 to purchase and have engraved and installed the granite stone marked “NICK BEEF.” Abedin had moved to New York City in the 1970s to perform stand-up comedy. He began to tell his audiences that because visitors to Rose Hill wouldn’t be able to locate Oswald’s grave by asking cemetery staff, they could now ask instead where to find Nick Beef, then look right next door. So far, so good.
Thus, the mystery is solved. Ah, but the Rose Hill staff soon caught on and stopped providing directions to the graves of both Oswald and Beef.
Sounds like it’s time for someone to bury Sir Loin next to Nick Beef.
Photo—looking west toward Rose Hill Drive—and map show the location of Oswald and Beef relative to the Shannon mausoleum. The two headstones are located about even with the house at 3801 Rose Hill Drive.