Monday, June 25, 2018

A #murderino meditation about the bag of bones I found when I was 12





In a sleepless pre-dawn diversion, tired of watching the end of the West in the echo chamber of outrage at Trump and his cronies, I asked Twitter friend why she called herself a . That started me down memory lane, as it were, to a bag of human-size bones I discovered when I was 12 in Milwaukie Oregon. Following is the text from that thread:

If you ever saw the film “Stand By Me, “ that was very similar to my junior high days. Sometimes I even took a shortcut home from school on a train trestle. My parents had managed to rent a huge house overlooking the Willamette, next to a country club...

My father was a poet and professor at Reed College. We didn’t belong to the club. But of course a buddy and I would go exploring. And one day on a dirt service road at the back of the club not far from the low bluff over the river, we smelled something awful. ...

In the bushes was a big cloth sack, like a grain bag, covered with the dust from the road and the brown stains of dried blood that had seeped out. The smell caught in my throat. The bag was not tied shut. ... Is a memory like this worthy of a ? ... Anyway ...

My buddy, Marc, took a stick and poked the bag, then lifted a corner so we could see inside. ... Bones. Big bones. Big enough to belong to a man or woman. But, despite the smell, I don’t remember seeing any flesh. Maybe too scared to look....

We ran back to the big house by the river, which was only a couple of hundred yards away. Which was also a scary thought - that someone or something that big was rotting in a bag so close to home. I get a chill remembering. My mother called the police....

I told the police where to look, and said I would show them, but they said not to come. Eventually an officer came back and said the bones were from a deer. And my parents were really relieved. And so was I. Story over. But as I tell you this now, more than 50 yrs later ...

I remember a shadow of doubt about the story the police told. When Marc and I looked in the bag we did not glimpse any meat or hoofs or hide. Just the bones. And even as a 12 year old I thought there might be something the cops didn’t tell us or want us to know. ...

That was in the spring or summer of 1964. We moved to LA not long after, and I have not been back to Milwaukie since. On Google maps satellite view I see in these silent early morning hours that the remnants of the trestle across Johnson Creek may still be there. ...

From above I see our big old house is gone, replaced by something even bigger overlooking the river. But the Waverly Country Club is still there, and the service road. I try to enter with Google "street view" but the gate is closed. And the mystery as well.
Post a Comment