Coos Bay, Oregon August 15
At the head of the dock ramp the wash rooms are grunge. In the men’s room the toilet paper is out of stock and paper towels scatter the floor. The adjacent postmaster’s building needs painting. Adjacent to this grunge lies a small square plot of land inside a freshly painted black picket fence. The the grass is watered and tended daily. The meticulously mowed lawn and fresh flowers stand as an anachronism in the weathered surroundings. The centerpiece is a monument of a sea captain and in the granite below are plaques inscribed the names and years of the men who were lost at sea. It’s reminiscent of a New England town square monument. But the inscriptions are not of those lost in war, but of those brave men lost at sea. Not those lost so we could have freedom, but those lost so we can eat. Here the battle is not with a warring army but with the merciless sea. Here it is the seamen who are honored and the sea that is sacred.