Visit to Jimi’s grave

“The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye. The history of love is hello and goodbye. Until we meet again”…..Jimi Hendrix

Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve logged into this site — but I’m back for the New Year. Between my real job as a newspaper managing editor, playing guitar in a reggae band, and just living life in general, Caliblackrock has been pushed to the side.

Regardless, I will make a concerted effort in 2011 to drop in from time to time.

On another note, me and my girlfriend finally made the road trip from Cali to Renton, Wash., just outside Seattle, to pay our respects to the prophet, Jimi Hendrix.

Took about two days to drive up from NorCal, listening to “Valleys of Neptune.” “Band of Gypsys” and other goodies along the way. Drove several hours through heavy rainstorms all the way from the Oregon, Washington border to the site.

We took some wrong turns, so it took awhile to find the place. Stopped at a gas station for directions. The clerk, in his late 50s, says “We don’t really like outsiders comin’ round here and causing problems. So if you wanna find out where Jimi’s buried, I a’int the one to tell you.”

There was an awkward silence for about five seconds. “Okay,” I said, puzzled.

“Ha ha! I’m just joshin ya!” he laughed.

Gotta admit, he’d fooled me, but I was relieved it was a joke. “I bet you tell that to everyone who comes through here asking for directions!”

Clerk wrote the directions on the back of a piece of paper. “You do know, Jimi is dead, right?” he quipped.

“Well,” I replied. “I guess that depends on who you talk to.”

Arrived at the memorial, and other than a family leaving, hardly anyone else was in the cemetery, Greenwood Memorial Park. The memorial is a small stone dome, mounted on pillars with marvelously drawn etchings of Jimi, along with lyrics to songs like “Angel” and Voodoo Child.

I left a yellow Dunlop guitar pick at the site and laid my hands on the headstone for a few minutes, hoping to absorb some residual Hendrixian guitar playin’ power energy. Others had laid flowers at the site, and there was also a pack of Japanese Marlboros. Someone had obviously come far to pay their respects.

After saying our goodbyes, a flock of ravens descended upon the memorial. The contrast between the grey sky and multitude of birds was surreal and a tad macabre. “Do you think it’s an omen of some sort?” I asked my girlfriend.

She smiled. “I think they’re just birds.”

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