Sunday, July 12, 2009

Travel Log July 11, 2009

One day to rest up. Nate wanted to stay in and do nothing; I wanted to see the town.
There was a sign that said Fort Dent. I wanted to see that. Ooh, a fort, I love to look around old Fort’s. Well I found out it is only a park. However there was a man named Frederick Dent who was a colonial in the Civil War and a brother in law of President Grant. The park was named after him. So I went to the Chamber of Commerce and asked about it. She didn’t know a thing except it was a park. Then I asked the magic question “Is there an interesting cemetery nearby?” She knew, and had a map of two famous graves nearby. Bruce Lee and Jimi Hendricks! I was on my way. Jimi was close by so I went there first. When I arrived there was a funeral service going on so there were lots of cars. But it was obvious where his monument was. It is big and handsome. I pulled over to it and parked. As I was gathering my camera and note pad another car came up. They got out of the car and ran over to the monument. . Hendricks picture is carved in the wall and some of his music that he wrote was carved on another wall. The other couple appeared to be an older hippie couple along with a teenage son. The mom said out loud that Jimi would be happy if she smoked a joint in his honor. The teen son seemed embarrassed and told mom to please don’t do it here. It was hard to get pictures because the sun was out and bright and there were people around. Then another group came, a couple of guys, and they started taking pictures. Apparently Jimi gets lots of visitors. Of course, I always think there are so many silent citizens are here and Jimi gets all the attention. Finally I got some pictures but when I looked at them there is a glare and my shadow in all of them. I never was a fan but of course I heard of him. I use to have a friend who had the hobby of taking pictures of celebrity’s gravesites. I thought that was very odd, but here I am taking pictures too. I wonder if he got to Jimi’s grave. This man is dead himself now. I think of him so often.
The gravesite was very nice but the cemetery was, well, just a cemetery. With two exceptions, Jimi Hendricks, of course, and there was a beautiful Chinese pagoda. Really nice. It was red, bright red, and there were streams of blue water around the pagoda. It was really blue, like food dye blue. Surrounding the Chinese monument were many graves, some didn’t look like they were used yet.
Next I left on my way to see Bruce Lee. I met him one time in the 60s or 70s at a karate tournament. At the time I didn’t appreciate the talent of the man. I just went to the tournament on a date and didn’t know a thing about karate back then. The gal at the Chamber of Commerce said it was just 17 miles away, but it seemed like forever. You know how that is; when you don’t know where you are going it seems so far. Here in Seattle every drive is beautiful so the distance doesn’t matter, there are trees everywhere.

I enjoyed driving though the area I had to get to. It was near W.U. so there were lots of college students walking around and lots of shops. It reminded me so much of New Orleans around Tulane U. If the streets were narrower and it was hotter and more humid, I could have been in New Orleans. The area is called Capital Hill. Finally I find the cemetery and I was wowed! What a cemetery. Not as wonderful as Sacramento but it was great. Again there was nobody to ask where Bruce Lee’s grave is. I walked around everywhere, looked at many graves and wondered, I am always wondering about the people that are there. But without my handy dandy laptop and the internet I can’t find out anything. There are so many stories here.
Around one grave were several people that I assumed were visiting their loved ones. Another young couple was walking around too so I asked them if they knew where Bruce was. They pointed over to where the group was. When the first group left we all walked to the grave and took pictures.
Bruce and his son Brandon are buried side by side. The stones are relatively simple in a very interesting cemetery. After I took pictures I had the most fun walking around. I took lots of pictures. At one time I remember hearing that Kurt Cobain, who is also from this area, was to be buried at the same cemetery but the cemetery refused him saying that they had enough on their hands with the Lees, they didn’t want another celebrity. So his ashes were spread over a river.
When I was done with my sad photo taking in the cemetery I decided to walk around the nearby neighborhood. Not only does this look a lot like to New Orleans but somewhat like San Diego. There are hills, going up and down. The walking was for a younger Diane but I loved every moment even if I was huffing and puffing. Each house was partially hidden by tall plants and trees and flowers. Each one was different. There were Victorians, one painted lady, some simple clapboard homes, some craftsman’s, many that I think of as a farm house in the city. The neighborhood was just as exciting as the cemetery. I want to rent a room in one of these houses and write the great American novel!!!


Linda in Lancaster said...

Sounds like you're having so much fun! I can hardly wait to see some pictures. Another suggestion, when you run out of cemeteries, that is, is to look for an antique mall and find some cemetery postcards. . . like I have to tell you that one!!

Kathy Schuster said...

That is the coolest thing ever. Hope you got lots of pics. I forwarded this to Brad because of Henderiz. But I love the Lee's.

A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits