The weekend before this controversial Columbus Day one, I drove to McDermitt, Nevada to see my friends Ned Evett & Music Box play a show at the Say When Casino, which even the owners admit resembles a David Lynch movie set in the old west of the uncanny 1970s.
On the drive back through fire-blighted rural desert Oregon, I followed a sign down a dirt road to this gravesite for Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the youngest member of the Lewis & Clark expedition, born to Sacagawea and a Metis French Canadian. He traveled the world and mountain manned the West; spoke several languages; suddenly caught ill and died here in 1866.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, his gravesite is now littered with modern-day sun-burnt offerings—mementos of hard desert living. A pink leopard print bra, folded in half and secured under a rock. A full mason jar of either sickly piss or potent moonshine. A sunbaked acid-eyed toy giraffe gnawing on the straw-capped head of a plastic boy doll who’s either playing a horn or smoking a very large pipe. Who can tell out here. Calvin Klein red hot flapper dress – $5 Idaho Youth Ranch thrift store | Frye antique leather boots – $200 | Michael Howard purple wool hat – $12 Antique World Mall with feather band – $3, Idaho Youth Ranch thrift store | Geode gold necklace – $54, Bricolage
Vinyl of the Day: “Road” by The Winter Consort
RIP, JBC aka “Pomp” (nickname bestowed by William Clark)