Pictures and Thoughts from a Day in Galen Dalrymple's Life
Yesteryear and Tomorrow
History has always fascinated me. Trying to understand what happened, and why, and how each person played a role in the shaping and changing of history is so much fun. Sadly, I can’t go back and see the actual people and watch them as the events unfolded. I can read about them and I can visit the places where the events happened. That is why I love to visit places of historical interest.
Today’s photo is of an old buckboard wagon abandoned in the old ghost town of Bodie, California. Bodie is the best preserved ghost town in California, and others say it is the best preserved in the world. Nonetheless, it is in what is officially called a “state of arrested decay.” There is a tremendous charm and even fascination I find in the town. Walking the dusty, sun-strewn streets one can almost hear the sounds of the honky-tonk pianos playing in the saloons that lined the streets, the laughter of the saloon patrons, the neighing of the horses as they are carried into the streets by the nearly ever-present breeze. It was notorious for its very bad reputation. On a daily basis miners would emerge from the mills and head for the bars and the red light district to spend their earnings. The mixture of money, gold and alcohol would often prove fatal. Newspapers report that towns people would ask in the mornings “Have a man for breakfast?” Meaning ‘Did anyone get killed last night?’
Here’s a couple links to more information about Bodie: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509 Here’s the Wikipedia article about the place: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodie,_California Alas, now I live several thousand miles away from Bodie. I last visited there in 2008 with my oldest son, Doug, when the two of us took a camping trip to the Sierra’s and made a day trip to Bodie. That’s when I took this picture. If you live in California, or plan a vacation to the great American west, I encourage you to visit Bodie. You’ll be glad you did.
As I looked at this wagon, I wondered who owned it and what became of them? Do they lie at rest in the boot hill across the valley from the town, or did they get out of Bodie alive and finish their life somewhere else? Why did they just leave the wagon there? What things were hauled in the back of it? Did it ever carry the body of a miner gunned down in the street, or his coffin to boot hill? How old is it and how long has it been sitting in mute witness to days of yesteryear? How long will it survive before it is lost forever to the ravages of time and memory?
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1945, General Buckner led 50,000 U.S. troops into battle on the island of Okinawa. It would be the last major battle of the Second World War and it would cost 7,000 American lives, and over 100,000 Japanese lives. The battle for the island lasted slightly over 3 months, ending on July 2, 1945.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: at one time it was believed that eating citrus fruits could protect against poisons. Wonder who figure out that it didn’t work, and how they learn it!!!