Laid flat in Palm Springs

Palm Springs, California. Flat land surrounded by the San-Bernardino and the San Jacinto mountains that seem to rise up out of the ground. It’s hot. Bloody hot: 46 degrees in the shade (116 F). Posted signs give you an idea of how old the population is and yet when driving around, I didn’t spot any cemeteries. It took a while to reason why. There are no headstones. The only thing that gives it away is the wall surrounding a seemingly empty field.

We came across the Wellwood Murray cemetery, built for the first white settlers in Palm Springs. Wellwood Murray Jnr was the first to occupy this small plot of land in 1894. Once in there, his parents allowed other white settlers to be buried alongside him and in 1914 WM Snr , the pioneer hotelier, was laid to rest. He had opened the first hotel in the area, the Palm Springs Hotel, and set the town on the road to fame and fortune.

A ribbon of towns wends its way through Coachella Valley: Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Bermuda Dunes, La Quinta, Indio, Coachella, Thermal and Mecca with barely a discernible difference visible to the novice eye. Over in Cathedral City, on Ramon Road lies  Desert Memorial Park, another quiet cemetery with nare a headstone in sight. Home to the some more famous internments (as the guiding map so eloquently puts it), I stood for a while over Frank Sinatra’s grave.

Once, in London, waiting for afternoon tea in the Ritz, I sat near the pianist. He asked if I’d like him to play something for me.  I asked if he new any Sinatra. Knew him? He’d played with the man himself in South America. He asked what I’d like him to play. I told him to choose. He started playing I’ve got you under my skin.

Some weeks later, I was in a pub near Waterloo. The owner, a karaoke-loving freemason, told me he’d sing me a song. What would I like? I asked if he knew any Sinatra. He said he knew just the song for me. And yes, he started in on  I’ve got you under my skin.

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous – and while I have no idea what He was trying to say to me, this song remains a  favourite.

Used to the more ornate and decorative European cemeteries I’ve visited, these two were rather quiet and somewhat sad. The more I think of it, the more I’d like to be cremated and have my ashes scattered in all those places I never got to visit…

Share:

Sign up here to get an email whenever I post something new.

Never miss a post

More Posts

Staying local at Kányavári sziget

We dream of islands in the sun. Exotic places where we can get away from it all. We spend hundreds if not thousands of whatevers

Person wearing a kurent costume - horns, devil mask with glowing eyes, wool hair - like a sheep's fleece. Gruesome teeth barred - smoke in the background

Ptuj, Slovenia: Kurentovanje

Shrovetide carnivals like those in Rio de Janeiro, Venice, and New Orleans, need little by way of introduction. They’re well-famous, days-long festivities in the lead-up

One arch of a red iron bridge spanning a wide river. Bridge is reflected in the water as is the cloudless blue sky

Strolling the streets of Maribor, Slovenia

I was surprised that Maribor didn’t make the list of the top 50 most walkable cities in the world. Or even the 33 most walkable

Sobering up in Maribor, Slovenia

Maribor. Maribor. Maribor. The name was embedded in my brain long before I ever set foot in the city. I knew of it because of

Walking through history in Maribor, Slovenia

I’m not a massive fan of museums. Unless they deal with war or resistance or the Holocaust. Or something completely off the wall like the

2 Responses

  1. That was a suprise……..I had expected Frank to have an all singing, all dancing type plot not something very simple……..as a fan I’m actually very pleased.
    Love the no solicitors sign.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

2 Responses

  1. That was a suprise……..I had expected Frank to have an all singing, all dancing type plot not something very simple……..as a fan I’m actually very pleased.
    Love the no solicitors sign.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.