March 31, 2002
My itch to research was again activated by seeing her name in the walled pantheon (Slavin) of departed VIPs in this cemetery and I resolved to find out who she was asap. On the day we were there, about 50 people were strolling around; like the old Jewish cemetery in Old Town, this cemetery isn't very spacious, but, unlike that cemetery, headstones were not piled one on top of the other. And, more important, it is serene, not jammed with tour groups rushing you along.
While strolling around, I noticed several headstones with the name of Libuse, the legendary founding princess of Prague. Several memorials were very elaboate and were probably costly when erected. This didn't strike me as a poor man's cemetery. Several "readings" produced sketch bios of distinguished academicians associated with the famous Charles University, eminent medical doctors and prominent politicians. We three found the spot so engrossing we stayed there for over an hour. Later on, I learned this is where the Prague Spring music festival is launched every May 12, the day the composer Smetana died. On that day, a procession goes from his grave to the Obecni dum. Czechs seem to revere their musical giants so, when I finally found out who Emma Destinova was, I wasn't surprised that,like Melba, she had been honored by having a special culinary delight named for her by the JBClub's owners.
From journal "the looking-up" city - Historic Prague