Yes, you remember correctly, Lone Fir is out local cemetery. So what good things could be happening there?
Well, to start with, a unique headstone that had been vandalized has been repaired. Paul G. Lind, a young man who died in 2005, was a computer programmer and Scrabble fanatic. His family and friends remembered him by creating a beautifully unique headstone, decorated as if it were a Scrabble board, with words to describe him. By the time I saw the headstone last year, however, all the lovely tiles had been chipped off and stolen away by vandals. But now, it has been repaired and looks even better than the original.
I stopped to chat with a happy young couple standing by one of the arbors, surrounded by Mylar helium balloons of animals…raccoons, a tyrannosaurus, a hedgehog, and the like. I had to ask, “What’s up?”
“She proposed!” The young man shouted, holding up his left hand with a lovely ring.
His bride -to-be explained. “He always said his perfect wedding would be in the forest with just the animals around, and no people. But I like these people,” she gestured to all the headstones. “They don’t tell you what to do.” I am guessing they may return to celebrate their wedding…or maybe choose a more formal cemetery, like River View, across the Willamette.
The last new headstone I visited memorialized Andrew Brian Loomis, who was a local musician. He played drums with a band called The Dead Moon for 28 years, dying at the age of 54 of cancer. His stone is carved with his name and dates, and he is remembered as a cherished son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend, and the motto, “Life is good ‘sept the parts that suck.” The name of a local music and dance club, Dante’s, is included.
The grave has been recently decorated with crow feathers, a wine bottle, a ceramic dog, Mardi Gras beads, and other items that seem to tell of a life lived for music and fun. I am happy to know that his friends and loved ones, and even fans, still celebrate him.
And that’s what’s happening with the dead people!