Monthly Archives: August 2009

The ghost town of Bodie, California

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The lonely road back to civilization

The lonely road back to civilization

Gold is a funny thing.

It will drive a human being to live far out on a desolate, arid plateau baked by summer heat, frozen by zero degree winter temperatures and blown apart from vicious blizzards and 100+ mph winds. Keeping warm means lighting a fire with expensive, imported lumber and, due to the gold’s remote location, probably everything (food, liquor, clothing, wood) has to be brought in over a long, dusty trail, making the camp one of the most expensive and dreariest places to live.

All this for an opportunity to strike, gamble, or steal it rich.

Bodie, California started out pretty much like most mining towns. In 1859, a prospecting group that included former New York State resident, W.S. Bodey, found gold in the desolate California wastelands east of Tioga Pass.

By 1876, 30 miners were living in the Bodie mining camp. Four years later, there were 10,000. Continue reading

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Snapshots: Japanese zen

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Even with the overcast skies and occasional raindrops, the visit to Auburn Pioneer Cemetery (now home to some of the original Japanese settlers of King County) yielded some nice photos, especially the jizo guardian deity statues. This particular story is very sad and can be found here.

Jizo family

And some close up shots from the statue on the left…

Jizo statue 

Jizo stone closeup

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Cemetery etiquette, please…

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Flickr photo: Rubber Slippers

Flickr photo: Rubber Slippers

This morning, I stumbled over an article from BBC Magazine discussing the lack of cemetery etiquette being seen more frequently in various graveyards. Since I can spend several hours at a particular site, I admit to having a more tolerant view of picnicking as long as whatever is packed in, gets packed out.

However, modeling shoots during a burial service and parking for sports events do seem a little much.

Read the full article here.

What do you think?

 

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Where do we go from here?

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The overgrowth at Highgate Cemetery, London

The overgrowth at Highgate Cemetery, London

An interesting article appeared in the New York Times this morning, discussing the impact of vanishing Jewish burial societies. As the community members grow older and eventually pass away, there are fewer people available (or willing) to coordinate the administrative and burial traditions.

Right now, New York’s Office of Miscellaneous Estates has stepped in to handle these details, giving the remaining members a sense of relief that they will be placed at rest in their respective cemeteries. Yet ultimately, the longer term question of who is responsible for these and other abandoned cemeteries, hangs unanswered.

There’s certainly no dearth of interest in cemeteries. Type “cemetery blogs” into Google and hundreds of links pop up, proving a fascination with lopsided monuments and intriguing carvings. Visiting is fun. It’s informative, a link to past history whether or not it’s my own. It’s a chance to give someone life again by saying his or her name aloud.

But then I leave. Continue reading

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