Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Memorial on the Banks of the Muddy Wishkah

This week I was traveling to Olympic National Park and found myself in the southwest Washington city nicknamed the "Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula".  As I drove past logging yards and wood chip piles,  Aberdeen reminded me of the paper mill town I grew up back in northern New Hampshire.

Besides logging and fishing, Aberdeen is famous as the hometown of Kurt Cobain.  Chances are that most of the people who might be reading this don't need an explanation.  But to set the stage, Kurt Cobain was an icon for a generation as the singer, song writer and guitar player for the rock band Nirvana.   Fame was challenging for Cobain.  He experienced depression, had challenges with heroin addiction and ultimately took his own life with a 20-guage shotgun on April 8, 1994 at the age of 27.

Nirvana was founded here in Aberdeen with bassist Krist Novoselic.  Kurt's boyhoood home is in a quiet neighborhood near the Wishkah River.  Like any young boy, he sought out the banks of the river for adventures and his private playground was under a bridge two blocks from his 1210 East 1st Street  address.

Today, there is a small park with a homegrown memorial to Kurt Cobain.  Here are some photographs from my visit.

Fans pay tribute to Cobain in different ways.  Interestingly, there were hardly any liquor bottles under the bridge, but this looks like a popular spot to do Heroin.  There were many of these orange syringe caps, alcohol swab wrappers and evidence of other indulgences.

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