I am fortunate enough to live on Glendale Dr. (near Blue Lake) about 1/4 mile from the foot of Liscom Hill. Liscom Hill Road goes up about three miles before turning into a private road at the old Ford Ranch, where there is an amazing view of the ocean. I walk up a little, or a lot, of the road depending on the weather and the time I have. The road follows the old trail to Hoopa and thoughts of others who’ve gone before me always keeps it interesting.
The other day I had some time on my hand and a break in the rain and so I went. About a mile and half up I heard a crunch in the woods and turned to see an elk looking at me. I said “hello” and about five other heads popped up not twenty feet from where I stood. I said hello again and started a mild stampede away from me (which was good because some of the bulls had very big horns), and was amazed to see at least twenty other elk nearby. If I hadn’t heard the one, I might have passed them by completely, never aware that they were there.
Which is my point. There are so many things in this world that we don’t, or won’t see. Regular things, but magical things, too, that surround us.
I have posted (and talked) often of Lucy, a Native American woman murdered in Arcata in 1862, and in my stories, I always try to include my discovery of her son, Charles’ , obituary in our house.
I’ve recently, with a lot of help from Humboldt Historian editor Suzanne Forsyth, completed an article about Lucy Romero for the Spring 2010 edition of the Historian. In the article we’re including the story of finding Charles’ obituary in my house, along with a photo of the clipping.
The thing is, I hadn’t looked at that obituary for a long time. It is upstairs in a room used for storage and I covered it to protect it, probably over a year ago… and hadn’t seen it since. And sometimes, I must admit, I feared it wasn’t there at all. That I imagined the whole thing as some sub-conscious push to keep working on Lucy’s story.
So it was with more than a little trepidation that I walked upstairs the other day to take a photo of the obituary to go with the article for the Historian.
It is there. Placed on my wall some 66 years after Lucy’s murder, to be found two years after I learned about Lucy. The odds…. I can’t calculate the odds of this being so. Yet is is. There is magic all around us folks. Ghosts whisper in the creaking of old floor boards, in the rustling leaves. There are stories, too. Just waiting to be heard.