Rest In Peace, Jim

                  Jim Haldane


High Times In San Jose

Each Friday, I have to check out of my little bungalow in Carmel.  Hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts or anything more luxurious than a pup tent is usually booked months and sometimes a year in advance.  Sometimes it's events over at Luna Seca or perhaps an art or film festival but at any rate, rooms are at a premium there on the weekends.

So, with the Carmel room situation at hand, I usually leave the office Friday afternoon, zip up the road to San Jose, grab a hotel room at the Hampton Inn, exchange the rental car and generally hold up there until Sunday when I return back to the Carmel and the Monterey Bay.

Friday evening, when I went out to eat, I found an inordinate amount of police (mostly motorcycle cops) hanging around the shopping center near the hotel.  Thinking it seemed a bit weird seeing lots of Cop bikers in different uniforms, I speculated on the reason but never came up with a definitive answer.

As an added benefit, the people in the room on one side of me played salsa music well into the night and the couple on the other side had a domestic dispute accented with yelling, crying and door slamming, all of which was in Spanish rendering it completely unintelligible to me.

This morning, as I filled up the car just before going to the airport, I noticed the streets filled with bikers and even more cops.  As I turned onto Kurtner toward the freeway, I could see lots of biker types entering a funeral home and cemetery nearby.  At that point, I guessed it was some kind of biker funeral.

As it turns out, the Hells Angels president had been mortally wounded over at a casino in Sparks, Nevada last month and they were finally getting around to having his funeral.  Let me see a hand of those who do not see trouble coming here.  Yep, it sure did.  Before that thing was over there had been another shooting at the funeral resulting in another Angel getting his one way ticket punched.  Who couldn't see that coming?

I could have gone up to San Francisco or Oakland but hearing the news of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and Bart protests, I thought it best not to go into the inner city.  I just didn't need to get arrested as an innocent bystander.  Maybe a few years ago, I'd have been compelled to check it out but not today. Besides, traffic was horrible in the area.

With that, I'm glad I had elected to visit the Pumpkin Festival at Half Moon Bay and get caught in a couple of hours worth of a traffic jam.  Tonight, I'll reflect on my better choices and try not to make a spectacle of myself as I watch the half dozen or so Hells Angels toying with their Harleys down in the Hotel parking lot.  While I see no one openly carrying fire arms, some wear knives in scabbards looking as big as a Roman Short sword.

Tomorrow, I'll be anxious to head back to Carmel where the most dangerous thing there is getting run over by someone's dog on the beach.


Rest In Peace, Jo Ann, rest in peace.

Rest in peace, Jo Ann. Rest in Peace.
November 23, 1948 - October 9, 2011



Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo

Awakened by the shrill squawkings of a murder of crows intimidating a flock of seagulls,  I could see daylight coming through the open air balcony of my room.  The air was cool, crisp and without the sometimes present early morning fog.  Since the hotel room does not have air conditioning, slithering and creeping things are rare, so Darlene and I spend the nights with the sliding glass door open.

Taking advantage of the early light, I slipped my jeans and boots on, made my way down to the car and headed south through the somewhat rough, hilly and darkened streets toward the Carmel Mission.

Carmel is noted for a lack of streetlights, traffic signals and curbed residential streets.  At one time, the town had some pretty unusual laws.  One being that it is against the law to wear shoes with heals greater than two inches in height without a permit.  The streets are so uneven, the city was simply trying to avoid lawsuits from those twisting ankles.  I understand the law is rarely if ever enforced now but if you're nervous about it, permits are granted free of charge.  At one time, it was illegal to sell or eat ice cream on public streets but that and other strange regulations were overturned when Clint Eastwood and his town council took office back in the 1980s.

A few blocks south of center of town, there is a very distinctive old mission that was founded  Father Junípero Serra in 1770.  When the padre passed away in 1784, he was buried in it.  I had passed Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo several times and one of my co-workers had told me a little of the history of it.  Each time I pass by, I'm fascinated by the dome and at night, with the right conditions, you can see the rising moon floating above it.

As I began taking pictures this morning, the parish faithful slowly began to arrive, so I did not approach the interior of the structure, saving that venture for a later and more appropriate time.