I like to visit cemeteries. I know its a little weird, so weird that one of my Facebook buddies ( I won’t mention any names but he is a bald headed guy with graphics talent) criticized me for taking my wife there. In reality you can learn a lot about a city or region by who is buried in the local graveyard. For example it becomes readily apparent where the original settlers originated from by reading the tombstones and you can tell by reading the dates of death if there was an epidemic that ravaged the area. It really is a look into the past.
In the Seattle area there are several notable persons who merit a visit to their eternal resting place. The first grave I visited belonged to Jimi Hendrix. I was raised in the 1960’s and was influenced heavily by Jimi. Born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington, to James Allen “Al” Hendrix and Lucille Jeter. When he was two years old, his mother placed him in the temporary care of friends in the San Francisco Bay Area. His father received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army on September 1, 1945, and retrieved his eldest son and legally changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix in memory of his late brother, Leon Marshall Hendrix. He was known as “Buster” to friends and family, from birth.
Jimi’s Grave site is quite impressive. Originally interred at a different location in the Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton, the entire family was moved to accommodate the large amount of people making a pilgrimage to see Jimi’s grave. The memorial is quite impressive with several carved images of Jimi Hendrix and snippets of verse from his works displayed below them. Apparently it is common for people to leave little tokens of appreciation lying around. There were flowers and guitar picks scattered about the memorial. It is also a custom for women to kiss Jimi’s face leaving behind lip marks all over the carved images (Excuse me while I Kiss this Guy 😉 ). If you love Jimi then you must go and pay your respects.
Next visit to the non living brought me to the historic Lakeview Cemetery in Seattle. Lake View Cemetery is a cemetery located on Seattle, Washington, Capitol Hill just north of Volunteer Park. It is named for its view of Lake Washington to the east. It was founded in 1873 as the Seattle Masonic Cemetery. The view at the top of the hill is beautiful if you come on a reasonably clear day.
Among those buried there are legendary martial artist Bruce Lee and his son Brandon Lee; Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Seattle; poet Denise Levertov; distinguished naval architect Eugene McAllaster, designer of the historic Seattle fireboat Duwamish; and Seattle pioneers David Swinson “Doc” Maynard, Thomas Mercer, Arthur A. Denny, and Seattle’s second black resident, William Grose. I went to see Bruce Lee. When I got there is was pretty easy to find his grave as there was a steady stream of visitors coming to see his headstone. His son Brandon was buried right next to him. There were dozens of crows all around the Lee’s graves which was ironic since Brandon died on the set of “The Crow”. While there I also found Thomas Mercer’s and Arthur Denny’s graves. Read the history of Seattle and you will see those names often.
If you travel to Seattle you really should take some time to visit the historic cemeteries of Washington State. There is plenty to see and learn. Hey you might even find a cool spot for your final resting place.