Wednesday, September 30, 2009

San Francisco's "Dove Cove"

Last night a nice crowd in SFPL's Koret Auditorium enjoyed watching Trina Lopez's A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco's Lost Cemeteries , her documentary about "the hidden history of how this modern metropolis managed to systematically relocate nearly all of its burial grounds to make room for the living."

Trina got some terrific stories on tape from native San Franciscans with childhood memories of playing in the graveyards. One of the most compelling and charming characters in her documentary is Emmitt Watson, caretaker and unofficial historian of the SF Columbarium, now owned and operated by the Neptune Society.

Here is a "Finding My Religion" interview with Watson by David Ian Miller on sfgate from 2006, definitely worth a read. My favorite question/answer:

"Where do you want to go as your final resting place?

In a paint bucket inside the house. I got the idea from some of these families here. They put objects in their apartments, whatever their loved ones treasured. I want to be in a paint bucket because I'm a painter. That's what I do. Besides, my loved ones need the money. I don't need no $5,000 casket."

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