Monday, March 31, 2014

Murder He Wrote

Yesterday I took a Sunday drive out to the Adelaida area about 20 miles west of Paso Robles in some of the most beautiful countryside in California. Ostensibly I was picking up a chain saw from my friend Marybeth. However, I elected to make a bit of an adventure out of it and check on the old digs of my late friend David Brooks a.k.a. "Studibaker Dave" who for the better part of two decades was the caretaker of the Klau/Buena Vista Mine complex. I also revisited the Adelaida Cemetery which I shared here last night. The Klau/Buena Vista Mine caretaker's residence picture below was where I found my friend Dave's body in 2010 and it was also the scene of a murder last month of someone known to Dave who had moved in after his decease.

Billy Law had actually been a source of hindrance to efforts by Dave's friends to settle Dave's affairs to his satisfaction at the time of his demise. Billy was no friend of mine and although what I know of him is through friends of Dave I know with certainty that he was not a good person and what happened was both criminal and karmic.

Back in the 1990's a young man was murdered around the corner from this house up Cypress Mountain Road about a mile from here. The late Dave Brooks, caretaker of the mine complex found that body shotgunned and run over in the road just down the road from the mine. There is a bad vibe out there I can sense although I have not directly experienced anything "paranormal" in the immediate vicinity.

I spent the night in the house in question a few different times during the Studibaker Dave Administration. I was never able to sleep well there but never felt immediately threatened or directly endangered. However, I was never comfortable there overnight. After dark the place took on a menacing personality despite the fact I am utterly unafraid of the dark and thrive in it with great natural night vision even at age 43.

This locality and the various morbid events that have happened there were the inspiration for a short story I wrote earlier this month for my creative writing class. I got an "A" on it and my PhD instructor strongly suggests I polish it some more and submit it for publication to various literary journals including Tellus, the Cuesta College literary journal. Before doing that rewrite I desired to revisit my muse of a mine complex.

Billy Law died in the front doorway of this house whereas Dave died on the sofa across the room over three years before.
The presence of a woman in this house has caused it to look more nested in than in Studibaker Dave's time when it looked like Sanford & Son's stockyard.
The barn in back used to be covered by a much larger corrugated steel structure which I was surprised to find gone.
Note the gun target to the left of the barn and further back by the base of the dirt pile... ironic given Billy Law was shot with a 9mm at point blank range with the magazine being emptied into him for emphasis by his old lady's big brat.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Haunting Return To Adelaida Cemetery

This afternoon I took a Sunday drive out in the country west of Paso Robles via Adelaida Road into the Adelaida area to pick up a chain saw at a friend's house. I wanted to kill two birds with one stone and visit the nearby old abode of a late friend whose body I found there in 2010 which I did and is worthy of and shall soon receive a blog posting all its own. After stopping by that house I decided to drive only slightly out of my way to visit a place relatively renowned locally for being haunted. There as a child visiting from out of the area I experienced a feeling of fright that sent me fleeing to my family's car. This was before I knew the place had a reputation and I was not a child given to frights or superstitions and had visited other cemeteries with no such feelings experienced. I had mostly forgotten about this little footnote to my youth but of late it has crept up into my consciousness and today I decided to renew my acquaintance with whatever scared me as a child... and we did. It is worth noting that a simple check via search engine will bring up many web pages devoted to the creepiness of this cemetery.
Also check out my subsequente Adelaida Cemetery Cool Headstone Compendium a few weeks henceforth.

It felt slightly strange being at an out-of-the-way obscure locality I actually remember visiting before I even lived in the area back when I was no more than 10 years old and where something scared me.
I could not help but feel that this seemed ever-so-slightly foreboding located to the left of the iron gate as I entered the cemetery... an abandoned, muddy, pair of women's shoes. A creepy start to my visit!
Even this nominally-Christian memorial structure possesses distinctly pagan elements... like an obelisk.
A cross on an obelisk with two colors of highly polished granite.
I like it and I don't like it. I like stone and I like black and red but here they seem a bit menacing.
Mr. Abernathy is no longer here but something is... I sense it.
That is Adelaida Road just south of the intersection with Chimney Rock Road.
I like the creepy effect of the rusted wrought iron with the stones and pavers.
This is the hilltop of my childhood fright... but I am no longer a child.
Mary K. Burnett died at age 48 in 1878... which was probably about average in those days.
A 10-year old child's grave who died in 1890.
I fail to see why these graves are paved over if they are dug deep enough... unless they are not. 
This leaning manzanita caught my attention.
This pioneer cemetery looks so, so, so very.....  cemetery-ish... as if it was a set in a horror film... and yet it is very real.
The dead lay under the dirt and in the dirt and are dirt all over this hilltop.
This foundation reminded me of a Tolkien-ish ruin somewhere in Middle Earth... I half expected to see a Barrow Wight.
This marks the burial of a child who departed in its "terrible two's" in 1868. This marker no longer rests on its base which is too un-level and was until recently sitting upright and yet today was gently leaning at an angle against its old base.
None of these trees were alive when these people were planted here.
This open gate seemed to bid me welcome to enter the inclosure.
The Ramage Family plot in foreground.
Entrance to the Ramage family plot.
These concrete grave structures give rise to the question of are they to keep something out or in?
The purpose of this structure is not immediately obvious to me.
But as with other features of this cemetery brings to mind pagan funerary traditions elsewhere.
Offerings atop the alter?
Hilltop view upon the lower reaches of the cemetery... with my monster Tequila digging up the dead.
I wonder what Wesley Burnett got in return or expected in return for his donation?
All images by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Picture of the Day - Klau Mine Ramshackle Shack

Today while out on my Sunday drive I happened by this old place just down the road from the Klau Mine murder scene in the Adelaida area on Klau Mine Road. Photo by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).

Treasure-Hunting With The Santa Lucia Rockhounds

Earlier this month the Santa Lucia Rockhounds met for its monthly general meeting in our new meeting place at the Templeton Community Center for only the third time since we began meeting there at the start of this year. Below are some images I captured of the people and activities that occurred that evening. Esteemed member Wayne Mills gave a presentation on metal detecting and treasure hunting given his dual membership in this club and the Central Coast Treasure Hunters Association.

Cliff Brewen (with his spheres), Laurie Wylie and Galen Moyer chat about rocks while the new guy in the green shirt whose name escapes me show some of his artifactual finds.
Dave "Pokerface" Nelson manning the club merch table. Don't mess with this guy: buy a cap or something!
Membership guru Lisa "Cheshire Cat" King challenging me to a staring contest.
Mike "50-50" Judy has yet to successfully induce me to purchase a single drawing ticket.
Past President and current "everything else" Barbara Bilyeu optimistically trying to sell some Rock'n'Gem & Lapidary Journal magazines.
Bob Baker showing off all his Clear Creek besties in light of the fact that locality recently reopened.
Bob Baker's Clear Creek cabachons.
Frank Imhoof (red shirt) suddenly realizes that all the guys in the room wearing blue shirts are also sporting bellies underneath (that includes this photographer and writer).
A vote in regards to if I am doing a good job as Vice President of Programs... okay, not really.
This facility is definitely an upgrade from our previous meeting place which we outgrew and was not as centrally-located.
Wayne Mills begins his Powerpoint presentation.
That is variscite on Wayne's throat.

Wayne showing the audience of the basic tools of the metal detecting trade.
Rings Wayne has found to date.
Just part of Wayne's collection of discoveries from his metal detecting pursuit.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).