About Me

My photo

I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Visit to Hood River, Oregon

The Columbia River looking across to Washington state
I enjoyed my visit with my family at a very sad occasion. Hood River reminds me in some way of Alton, Illinois where my wife's parents reside. (Actually, they live in "East Alton.") Everything seems like it's at an angle! Since the town is built on a river bank of the Columbia river, all the land slopes down the river much the way that Alton like other towns on the banks of the Mississippi slope down towards the "Father of Waters."

Jim's resting place is in a mountain cemetary that is surrounded by the orchards and vineyards for which that part of Oregon is justly famous. It is also framed by Mounts Hood and Adams. Mount Hood in particular presents a striking image from his gravesite. I could tell that the cemetary has been there for many years because many of the headstones date back to 19th century.
Jim's pine coffin
I was honored to be one of Jim's pallbearers. We had to carry his coffin down a bit of an incline to his gravesite. I was very grateful that Jim insisted on being buried in a "pine box," which helped make the task easier than it could have been. I joked that the eight of us carrying his mortal remains had to be very aware of the "gravity of the situation."

No comments: