Friday, November 1, 2013

Making the Acquaintance of My Muse, Aimee

Aimée Crocker + Kaa
circa 1890

Don't be fooled by the 
period after her name. 
Her story is still being written.

The first time I met Aimée Crocker was at her gravesite. It was during a California pioneer history tour at the Old City Cemetery in Sacramento. I was in college, I think it was early 2005.
This is the retired historian tour guide, the man who introduced me to Aimée when he uttered a few words about the wild Crocker daughter & her memoir, And I'd Do It Again.

The guide glazed over Aimée's parents, Edwin & Margaret Crocker. He said a few kind words about Margaret's benefactions, but said his favorite Crocker was the misfit of the family. She married 5 times, traveled the world, drank, partied, wore pants, and wrote about her adventures in a book. He said something about the book being a great read but quite difficult to come by. With interest piqued, I jotted down the author & title on a slip of paper and shoved it in my pocket. 

The rest of the tour was interesting, most of the stops featured men (politicians, railroad tycoons, the man who founded the newspaper). It was remarkable to hear about an exceptional woman from my hometown! I felt an immediate kinship. I was intrigued and excited to learn about this fellow Sacramento native. On the way out I noticed a flyer by the cemetery gates saying they needed volunteers. Volunteers? "Is this a joke from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland?" I wondered. Curiosity won, I wrote down the contact info. I figured if the cemetery needed help with something, I'd be happy to lend a hand to those who preserve our city's history. I had no idea how important & influential that day would be on the days that followed.
Soundtrack: Björk "I Miss You"

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