eureka cemetery
A fifteen acre, uphill park around a wooded gully; Newport’s answer to the garden cemetery movement and evidently the cemetery of choice for current Newportians. It has grown by increments, each addition marked off by natural boulders. The original, central “Bensell Addition” (I’m somewhat confused as to how an original donation can be termed an “addition”) allows uprights under its canopy of trees, while the newer sections follow contemporary flat marker practices.

When it comes to natural boulders, that for Joseph Palmer (1970-2003) stands out, being several feet high and engraved with a pictograph à la She Who Watches. The other new monument, which is unavoidable, is a white granite obelisk capped with gold and mounted on a black granite pedestal polished to a mirror image. It commemorates the birth and death of Leland Borges on June 19 (Juneteenth in Texas), 1990, and the life of his mother, Donna Borges (1952-2004), who “died unexpectedly.” New obelisks are almost unheard of, though they are beginning to make a minor comeback. Wouldn’t the Egyptians be surprised?

I was met by Gary, the affable sexton, when I peaked into the small office building to see what they had to offer. It’s hard to hold a good cemeterian down when they get talking cemeteries, and Gary was willing to give me the rundown of the entire central coast. He dragged me into the office (about 8’X8’) to show me their license from the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board. “There, look there at that number,” he beamed: Number 00001. “When the state decided they could make money by licensing cemeteries, we were the first one they thought of,” Gary boasted.

Gary also talked about the cemetery at Seal Rock and some graves on the other side of the bridge and some up at Agate Beach. And he pointed out the enigmatic epitaph for Kay Shineflug (1939-1998): “Excuse me….”

By all means.
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