This article resulted from a strange conversation with my son. Where do I want to be buried? I’m 72 so it was not an unusual question that needed an answer. Unfortunately, it is a question without an answer. Anthony Bourdain has a quote: “The more I travel, the less I know”. As with Gertrude Stein, when asked about her childhood home of Oakland, she answered “There’s no there there” since everything she remembered was now gone”.
My theme song has always been “Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home”. It was always beautifully done by Judy Garland and then I found this version by Audra McDonald and fell in love with it all over again.
For every place I have ever lived, there is no longer any “there there”. No, neither parent was in the military. My family was just went nuts at yearly intervals and somebody else got the well loved but “inconvenient” kid. In my first 17 years of life and 12 years of school, I attended 21 schools without repeating a year in any town two years in a row. Then I got married and settled for nine years, and then started the habit of moving again.
Los Angeles, Oakland, Chowchilla, Fresno (First Grade), Westchester, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Pasadena, Chowchilla, Fresno, El Monte, Westchester, Torrance, Anaheim, Gardena, Hawthorne, Hollywood, Redondo Beach, Westchester, Redondo Beach, Westchester (Graduated), West Covina (Married) and then it got a bit more stable for awhile: Burlingame, San Carlos, San Mateo, Campbell (26 Divorced) Covina, Hollywood, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, San Fernando, Port Hueneme, Washington DC, Salt Lake City, Fresno, Vancouver (the one in WA) Stockton, Fresno, Sacramento, Tacoma (Been here for 10 years now, but it isn’t really “home” and neither is anyplace in California either because there is not longer any “there there”)
Fortunately the somewhat wacko family who made me rootless gave me a gift to go with it: A good brain and the ability to adjust and accept change. I am not a part of anything but I am a part of everything. So where do I want to go for disposal?
I think maybe Asilomar Conference Grounds because the Ocean in November is wild and wonderful while walking the beach, Monterey in all its touristy attractions of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, restaurants, whale watching boats, and old California historic tour are a mile down the walk path or you can opt for sanity and get settled into one of the historic rooms by the fireplace reading good books .
Pines Resort at Bass Lake. It’s pretty there, the National Forest is very green across the lake, there’s a nice breeze through the mountains, and it is quiet except when it’s the only Fourth of July celebration in the whole area or the Bass Tournament is on. Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is close as is the Yosemite entrance. I was happy in the chalets or while floating on the lake in a party boat all alone reading very good books.
So Chris, make the fish happy, toss the ashes in the water in the place you would most like to visit for a fun or a relaxing stay or since your sister will try to talk you into a modern hotel in Monterey, split the difference because I love you both. Oh and neither place has telephones except those connected to the guest switchboard and you can have “SILENCE”.