Friday, March 6, 2015

So...... Does anyone else have a dead lumberjack who haunts their dreams?

Ok, so this one time maybe a decade ago, me, my husband and my aunt and uncle went camping down at Griffis Sculpture Park. We slept in one of their two cabins. It was for my uncle's birthday and his then-girlfriend had gotten us into the cabins, which they do not usually rent out, by sheer charm, to celebrate my uncle's birthday. We ate hot dogs, we played kalimba, we talked extensively about sweeping, burned things- you know, camping. Then, the next morning, as we were walking our way out of what was barely a camp, back toward the sculpture park filled with enormous metal women and unmowed grass, we came to a clearing in front of the other cabin. We were hauling heavy things, backpacks full of whatever, when we saw Simon Griffis, a name which I imagine adorning the credits of a 1970s cartoon with a sunshine emblazoned behind it, chopping wood with his waders on. He was way over 6 feet tall, just some young Paul Bunion. He built the two cabins, he owned the park after his father. He was that place. We chatted for a few minutes and went on our sunshiny way.

About two years later, I heard on my frosty morning commute, in my little car filled with the fog of my breath for a suspended moment, that the police had identified the body of someone who had been hiking alone at Zoar Valley. It was Simon Griffis, the owner of Sculpture Park. The iconic image of artistic country living had plummeted to his death in an accident while he was out exploring

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