Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lone Fir: The Cemetery

The printer says the books will be here on or about September 4th. One-hundred-and-thirteen pages. I'm not one to review my own book, but I'm quite delighted with it. It came out looking just like I laid it out; which maybe doesn't say so much for my layout skills, but at least I can't complain that they messed up my order. What I haven't figured out yet, is how to set up ordering through this blog; maybe it's not possible. Some PayPal tie-in. In the meantime, it should be available (soon) on Amazon and, sometime after the 4th, at local bookstores (Portland, OR). Metro might also carry it. It retails at $12. If you want one, send me $13 (a buck for mailing) and I'll send you one back. Or more, if you send me more money; I'm flexible.

It got to be more of a book than I originally intended—I'd just wanted a cheat-sheet for tours—but once I got into the actual size of the project, as well as delving into the history, it was apparent that a more thorough treatment was in order. What the heck, how many guides come with footnotes?

The dynamics of Lone Fir can be baffling even to its intimates, as if ancient, unsettled ghosts insinuate themselves into the Friends and bring old scores to toss onto the floor at meetings, like dead carcasses; though the scores too are faded and illegible. They lie unseen, unacknowledged, but still festering, only felt by observers as a vague unease. Which is a way of saying that I don't know if the book will be available through the Friends or at their tours. They'd make a bunch of money that way, but…

Why does that person cast no shadow?

I'm splitting the net wholesale receipts with the Lone Fir Foundation which is charged with fund-raising for the Memorial Garden and further, large-scale restorations. My contribution will be tiny, but will, hopefully, increase awareness of the foundation and its goals. But think of that when you're sending in your money. We can both use the bucks.

If you want to contact me by email, it's "" It may be the best way to order a book, at present.

Following are screen shots of  the cover and a few interior pages:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dying to Speak: Oregon Territory Epitaphs

The following screen shots are from my current project, Dying to Speak: Oregon Territory Epitaphs. I've only just begun sorting them out and doing research on their origins if I can track anything down. I can't imagine doing this without the Internet. The name and format are subject to change, but I'm happy with the layout so far. If you have any suggestions, now would be a good time to bring them out. Aside from me jumping in the lake, of course.

Monday, August 13, 2012


It just looks as if I’ve been lazy. Maybe a little bit lazy.

I have finished Lone Fir: The Cemetery and am waiting for proof copies to come from the press. Now all I have to do is sell it. Can I interest you in a dozen copies? Oh, good.

Elsewhere, including on Ape Shit, I’ve been ranting, but that’s avoidable, and put a number of new cemeteries on Flickr.

Coming up, though I’m not sure in what form, will be some installments on the next project: organizing the epitaphs. Starting with an initial collection of 1700 epitaphs, I’ve whittled it down to, perhaps, closer to a thousand or twelve-hundred of some merit. I’ve assigned each epitaph to one of eleven categories and am currently breaking down further the category of quotes appearing as epitaphs, which I call “borrowed” epitaphs. Right now I’m tracking down song lyrics which fall into two major groupings: Christian songs or pop ballads, with a certain amount of overlap.

I’m still working out the form of presentation, so it’ll be a while before installment one comes out. Have faith. Below is a sample of a database:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dying to Say This

As Mark Twain intoned, I've got nothing against dying; I just don't want to be there when it happens. Or, as others have observed: death always comes out of season.

You've probably seen these last words before, but they bear repeating:
Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa: “Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.”

Roman emperor Gaius Caligula: “I am still alive!”

Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian: “I am about to — or I am going to — die: either expression is correct.”
Henrik Ibsen by Edvard Munch
Henrik Ibsen, after his housekeeper told a guest he was feeling better: “On the contrary!”

Karl Marx, to his housekeeper, who had just asked whether he had any last words: “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!”

British surgeon Joseph Henry Green, after checking his own pulse: “Stopped.”

Union general John Sedgwick, sizing up enemy sharpshooters: “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…”
Marie Antoinette
On her way to the guillotine, Marie Antoinette stepped on the executioner’s toe. Her last words were “Pardonez-moi, monsieur.”