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perhaps the Gothiest thing I've done in a while.... [Jan. 24th, 2007|07:19 pm]
Just me.
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This weekend, Paul and I went for a walk around Capitol Hill and ended up at Lake View Cemetery, where we decided we’d attempt to find the graves of Brandon and Bruce Lee. It was actually pretty fascinating to see all the grave names of "pioneer" Seattlites whose names we know from streets, monuments, etc: Mercer, Leary, Denny, Yesler, Carkeek, Chittenden (you know, the Ballard Locks dude) , not to mention a boatload of Nordstroms and Blethens (the Seattle Times newspaper family, sorta like a local equivalent of the Hearsts).

We stumbled across the grave of "Princess Angeline", the daughter of Chief Seattle and (according to the grave marker), "Life long supporter of the white settlers", who is buried near her "friend and protector", Henry Yesler. Lest the name "Princess Angeline" make you think of some Pocahontas-like babe, check out her photo, snapped by Edward Curtis.

Other than Brandon and Bruce Lee’s markers, which we finally found by noticing the teen Asian tourists snapping pictures of each other there, the only other famous grave I spotted was that of the poet Denise Levertov. Her marker has an artsy design, but it doesn’t say "poet" or "writer" or anything like that on it. Bruce Lee’s says simply "Founder of Jeet Kune Do" after his dates. A friend of mine tells a story about being stranded on Capitol Hill in the 80’s without bus fare, and in a stroke of blasphemous inspiration, went to the cemetery, borrowed some of the tribute coins left on Bruce Lee’s monument, and used them to pay for the bus. She did of course return within the week to pay Bruce back, since no one wants the bad juju of stealing from Bruce Lee.

The worst marker is that of a non-famous, recently buried teenager, whose family for some reason did his marker in the dreaded COMIC SANS font. This is about as undignified as you’d expect, and I hope this young man is haunting them for inflicting this indignity upon him.

Also, can anyone tell me why I saw smooth/shiny stones placed on the gravestones that have Hebrew inscriptions on them? Is it a folk custom, or an actual mandated thing?

[User Picture]From: palecur
2007-01-25 12:40 am (UTC)
My understanding is that leaving stones shows the grave is still being actively visited -- it's a remembrance thing.

I do find this explanation far inferior to my own "eventually building a big cairn to keep down potential zombie attack demanding KOSHER BRAAAAIINS" theory.
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[User Picture]From: li_kao
2007-01-25 01:17 am (UTC)
Lest the name "Princess Angeline" make you think of some Pocahontas-like babe, check out her photo, snapped by Edward Curtis.

Are you implying that Pocahontas wasn't as hot as Princess Angeline (aka P.Angel)?!

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[User Picture]From: gryph
2007-01-25 02:17 am (UTC)
I used to spend so much time there, I could practically be a tour guide! As for the stones, I might have been able to tell you at one time, but I'm drawing a blank. A lot times, you place a stone, shell, whatever, when you go visit a grave. Chief Seattle's gravesite (across the bay) has so much crap and doodads on it. I used to be an active tadophile, and was up on all this stuff. I haven't followed it in years though.

The one grave I haven't been able to find there, and maybe it doesn't have a market yet seeing as he's not dead yet, is Robert Fulghum's. He bought a plot there years and years ago. Showed a picture of it in one of his books, but even with carrying the book with me, I couldn't find his plot. I love him, he's my fantasy granddad!

Most gothiest thing I did in that cemetery was climb into one of the vaults (in the center area when they were about finished building them) and laid down in it. It was kind of creepy.
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[User Picture]From: dirtylibrarian
2007-01-25 03:43 am (UTC)
The book on tape I'm listening to right now has Jewish folks putting stones on graves as a rememberance.

But don't ask me, ask the Rabbi.
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[User Picture]From: lemur68
2007-01-25 04:04 am (UTC)
Remember when we were going to look for H.P. Lovecraft's grave in Providence?
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-01-26 11:42 am (UTC)

Edward S. Curtis reference to "Princess Angeline",

Its fascinating to know that her grave can be found... the past really isn't so far away. Current with your mention of Curtis and this famous photo of his, is a new film about him. THE INDIAN PICTURE OPERA - is a re-creation of Curtis's 1911-1912 slide show where he explains the tribes of America's west. You can find the DVD on Amazon. Its a fascinating journey into time, that will really take you back. Being from Seattle, you will find it even more interesting.
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