BAKER CITY, OREGON
On my last research trip I wanted to gather any last bits of information that was out there to add to my book Red White Black, A True Story of Race and Rodeo, as well as to visit the graves of the three main characters. I made a big circle; drove a thousand miles and was gone for a week.
I arrived in Baker City on a Sunday and there were a few people getting a jump on Memorial Day and putting flowers on the graves of loved ones in the Mt. Hope Cemetery. I stood on the green, wet grass and felt uneasy as I looked through my binoculars and tried in vain to find the headstone of John Spain among the 16,000 people who are buried there.
The next morning a caretaker looked up the grave and I took photos of John Spain’s grave marker as the sun edged over the bald hill to the east. And then I visited the library, courthouse, and sheriff’s office and talked to the man who has spent his lifetime gathering photographs of Baker County.
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