Tomorrow makes a year since my mother died, which is hard to believe. In a few weeks we are taking some of her ashes with us to Italy to scatter in the memorial that we are planning with our family. Her other request was that her ashes be scattered near where my dad was scattered, in Half Moon Bay. This is the beautiful urn that my sister bought for us to bring the ashes to Italy.
Our friend Gary has an amazing garden and a golden heart, having a canned food drive regularly for those in need. We were very happy to be able to participate and enjoy the extraordinary surroundings.
For several years now they have had a pride in Castro Valley, the unincorporated town I used to live in for several years and where my daughter finished high school. The pride event is in her high school parking lot, in fact. We took some pictures of and with friends and for the AIDS quilt and Orlando Pulse night club shooting memorials.
This past week we visited Portland, Oregon. On the day after my 49th birthday, Shando and I were heading for a day trip to the Astoria area, which in and of itself is a fascinating place. I knew that my great-grandfather, Floyd Leonard Hayden, used to live in that area from his death certificate, and I have a picture of him and great-grandma in nearby Seaside from 1914 (they are the couple on the left below).
Coincidentally Seaside is the town where my daughter’s maternal grandfather retired. My daughter’s mother and all of her aunts and uncles on that side were born in Multnomah County, Oregon.
Shando helped me find the grave online the morning we were heading to Astoria. Floyd was interred about 25 miles outside of Astoria in a little town called Westport that I realized I had driven through before, without even knowing my relative was buried yards from where I was driving. Someone on findagrave.com had taken a picture of the tombstone last year, so we knew it had to be current. Great-grandpa was born in 1892 (exactly 100 years before my daughter) and died in 1917 (exactly 100 before this visit), so he was only 25 when he died. His wife was pregnant with their second child. My grandfather, Andrew Jackson Hayden, was only a toddler at the time. This picture of my Floyd was probably taken around 1915.
Floyd’s tombstone, probably taken at his funeral in 1917. I bet no one has been to visit his grave for over 90 years!
As shown below, the top part of the tombstone had come off and was leaning against the base. Shando and I had to lift it together, since it was so heavy, but it was unstable back on the base, as the ground underneath it now leans forward, so we put it back to the leaning position.
As if that wasn’t fascinating enough, later that day, we went to a place called Camp 18, which has a memorial for loggers who died over the decades. It was very sad to see so many men (I believe it has only been men) who have fallen for the purpose of logging, some as recently as last year, but great-grandpa was not memorialized among them since the memorial had been founded decades after he died. Still, I signed the guest book on his behalf and put the details of what I heard about his death from logging, and that he was buried nearby.
Alex was 25 on the 20th and Barbra was 75 on the 24th.