Thursday, March 18, 2010

Signs of Times Past

In downtown Boston, it seems as though you can’t walk five blocks without tripping over another crop of centuries-old headstones.

Astoria is the oldest English-speaking settlement west of the Mississippi, and, while considerably younger than Boston, it shows its headstones everywhere, too.

But these don’t mark the places where people are buried, they mark the places where people made their livelihoods.

From my neighborhood in Alderbrook, through downtown, Uniontown, out to Desdemona Sands and then back up into Young’s Bay, remnants of industry jut out of the water. 

A boatwright’s ways show themselves across the street from my place at low tide.  Canneries, net sheds, a ferry slip, remnants of a plywood mill… all businesses that relied on the river… expose their bones on the ebbing tides.

They mark the comings and goings of industry as much as they show the comings and goings of the tides.


The STX Crocus has been lolling about at anchor nearly long enough to get its own address.  It framed itself nicely beyond the pilings adjacent to the Safeway parking lot.

The really persistent observer will also find a gull, a Bufflehead and a Coot in the frame.  No, I’m not talking cranky crewmembers, though I’m not counting that out, either.


The point of my getting in the car this evening was to restock the pantry, but I knew better than to leave the camera bag behind.

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