Monday, August 10, 2009


The Elks Lodge #188 in Portland has a final resting spot for members at Evergreen Cemetery. Growing up nearby, the cemetery provided lots of outlets for things to do and other 'adventures'. Each time I ride by this elk, I remember a special connection to this statue. The Skeleton Club was a 'secret' club all the guys were a part of in our neighborhood. We held weekly meetings in our house's back cellar, collected dues, had elaborate passwords, planned activities(sleep outs, games of army in the woods, bike rides, baseball games against other teams etc.). We even had, what we considered, challenging initiations to enter this members-only club. I can't recall what they all were, but mine I remember almost minute. It was to go into the cemetery at 9 PM, travel the darkened roadways, somehow make my way to the elk, climb up on its cold back and retrieve what was stuffed behind its right ear. It had been put there hours ago by our President, Skipper. Round trip, from my backyard, through the woods, across Gulliver's Field, into and across the burial ground, to the base of the elk was about 2 miles, and when I returned, about a 1/2 hour later, I was out of breath, and every inch of clothing was drenched in sweat. But in my hand, I clutched a rolled up, soggy matchbook from the SUNOCO station at the corner. I was proud of myself. I was in! It was, indeed, a fun time and place to grow up!


  1. Birdman, I love this childhood story. What a wonderful time it was for 'homemade' adventures and fun in the summertime.

  2. Thing about Birdman is...he's a storyteller, and a great guide. Recently spending the day here there and everywhere in our old haunts was.. a dream come true. How does he remember the details??? Well they say, "life is in the details." And Birdman, bro, I'm glad you didn't miss a trick! Thanks, bud. Have a Cosmo for me!

  3. great story from your youth. very interesting. it is funny how things when we were young seemed so scary and now are not scary at all. Thanks for all of your comments on my site. I am glad you liked the man and the butte photo. If you like travel photos, we just put together a travel photos site at It was great stopping by, I need to do so more often on your site.