Monday, March 21, 2011
A TWEAT FROM THE GOLD HILL CEMETERY
So I don’t Twitter. I don’t write Tweats and I don’t read Twitters.
THE GOLD HILL CEMETERY is lost in the foothills of rural Placer County. As one explores the back roads, one cannot help but drive past a number of serene hilltops or vales where folks are entered into rest awaiting eternity. Unlike the corporate cemeteries of the Bay Area, Sacramento, or even Chico – with their manicured expanses, flat-to-the-ground markers and sprinklers that activate at two in the morning – these little plots house only those customers who died while residing in bergs that may no longer exist. Gold Hill is an example. There may be a road sign. Or a line of junipers. Or fenced-off rectangle in the midst of a cow pasture. Or they may just be unmarked and lost.
I STUMBLED ACROSS the Gold Hill Cemetery while on a two-hour motorcycle outing in February. My goal was to freshen my skills before the riding season began. Generally, a two-hour first-jaunt-of-the-year needs to be halved because of the tentative relationship that exists between my butt and my motorcycle seat. Later in the year, I’m in better shape.
Walking the grounds, I took note of names – given names of the nineteenth century differ from those of the present day – dates of passings and patterns within those dates.
Then I came across Mr. Butterfield and the Tweat cast in bronze that marked the locale of his repose. His story, in great detail, emerged. I won’t recount it here. Rather, I will ask the reader to simply examine the 59 characters that make the marker, read between the spaces and lines, and experience this pioneer’s story for yourself.
I RODE SLOWLY AWAY reminded that when all is said and done, all one really leaves behind is a Twitter or a Tweat.
Church of the Open Road Press