Dead Reckoning ‘I thought it would serve to remind people that they must die... Why should one always make people happy? It might not be a bad idea to scare them a little once in a while.’ — an artist, explaining why he’s painting a picture of “death” personiﬁed, dancing off with his latest recruits, in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal
alloween was born centuries ago as the Gaelic celebration Samhain, a harvest festival held in honor of those who’d passed in the previous year, and a ﬁnal blowout for those who may not make it through to the next. The Irish brought some of those old harvest customs to America in the 19th century but, as the event morphed into Halloween, the festival’s once prominent specter of mortality was gradually re-marketed over the decades into a cutesy kiddy celebration of princess costumes, yellow Milk Duds boxes and party games involving saliva-ﬁlled buckets of apples. Well, we don’t like them apples. Which is why we’re presenting our seventh annual Death issue—our attempt to bring Halloween back to its roots—those six feet under—and offer another round of our award-winning reﬂection upon life, death, and all the joy and sorrow in between. —Jason Walsh
Deathstyles of the rich and famous Marin’s ‘celebrity’ graves are groundbreaking in more ways than one...
rama!” said Marcie Miller of the historic cemeteries in West Marin, and San Marin History Museum. “There’s a Rafael is home to Mount Olivet and Mt. Talot of drama with these ﬁrst people malpais Cemetery, where the History Museum who settled in Marin.” Last week Miller led a plans to conduct a guided tour sometime this lively and highly entertaining tour of Mount fall. Of course, the highlights of any cemetery Olivet Catholic Cemetery in San Rafael, pointmay not be the ﬂashiest tombs or fanciest ing out the graves of the founding families of markers but the ﬁnal resting places of people Marin—all those Pachecos, Millers, Freitases, who led famous or infamous lives. Marin’s two Lucases, Murphys, etc.—who intermarried and biggest cemeteries boast their share of celebrity bought land and occasionally sued each other. dead; here is a sampling of some prominent (And seemed to have a penchant and oh-so-permanent Marin residents. for falling off horses—“What’s Superb Athletes S with all the falling off horses?” October is a perfect time to pay Miller asked.) She recommends by b y homage to ﬁve-time World Series h touring cemeteries when travelJJulie ulie cchamp Vernon “Lefty” Gomez, ing; it’s an excellent way to get hall of fame pitcher for the New Vader V a d e r a feel for the history of a place. York Yankees in the 1930s and “I’m not big on feeling cemeter’40s. He won more than 20 ies are creepy,” Miller said. games a season four 10> There are marvelous small
Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery OCTOBER 26 - NOVEMBER 1, 2012 PACIFIC SUN 9
Published on Oct 24, 2012