Messages from the Road – It’s fun to discover interesting things along the roadway during the long training rides and runs. It pays every once in a while to stop and take notice especially if what we see is odd or perversely interesting. Thinking about what you observe can often keep you occupied during the remainder of your workout.
Here’s an example which seems a bit morbid but in fact turned out to be a fun find.
The Head Stone: Imagine yourself on a sunny morning spinning passed a rural graveyard and spotting a grave stone with a road bike Crankset imbedded in it. If your starving for distraction you might think ….How cool is that? I wonder whose grave that is. I had to stop for a quick picture if only as an excuse to stretch my legs.
OK, I know this is a little creepy … so I took a quick snap and was on my way down the road. For the next hour I spun stories in my head about the deceased, not knowing for sure if Dana Kellogg was a he or a she. I found it curious that the headstone presented very little information, other than a name and an inscription that read: “Survival is an instinct. Living takes guts” L. Armstrong
The Quote: A strange quote for someone who has passed I thought… and to quote Lance Armstrong made me wonder if cancer might have played a part in the end. The connection to cycling and one of its most famous cancer survivors seemed to be a good clue which I hoped to pursue later via the internet.
In the interim though my mind conjured elaborate stories of someone who loved cycling so much so that the remaining loved ones added a Lance Armstrong quote and Bike Crankset as embellishment to his / her headstone. I instantly began to feel some of the passion I imagined Dana had for cycling, if only out of respect for the fact that I was out cycling on a beautiful sunny day and Dana Kellogg’s days these on these roads were over. I would ride on for you and love doing it (at least for the next set of hills of course).
Who was Dana Kellogg? : Internet searches I made resulted in very little information about Dana Kellogg other than he (yes he’s was a guy) lived in the next town over West Newbury Ma, and he apparently was a practicing photographer / videographer in his lifetime. The headstone stated age 36 so he lived a short life which made me sad to realize but added to the mystery. To be honest that was enough information for me to learn because it gave me a broader license to imagine who and what Dana’s life was all about. I got to be the narrator of my version of his story and build the narrative as I saw fit.. I promised myself that the story would be glorious and fitting of such a roadside companion.
The Buddha: At home later that evening I noticed something in the lower right hand corner of the image that I had missed initially. Looking closely I could see a small Buddha statue placed on the ground next to the head stone. Why was it there and why a Buddha? Buddha’s I have learned come in all forms. Plain, elaborate, thin, fat with different hand gestures etc…. and it seems they mean different things…In this one Buddha calls upon the Earth to witness his claim to be known as “The Enlightened One.” He points towards the earth with his right hand and in response Bhu Devi, the Earth Goddess, lets flow a stream of sacred water at Buddha’s feet. Each drop of water symbolizes an act of merit performed by Buddha in his previous incarnations on earth.
I wondered if the person who left the Buddha knew that???
A Quote, A Crank and A Buddha: Back to the point of this blog… Messages from the Road…What kind of message can you take from this drive by event? Here is what I figure this whole message means: Living takes guts??? I think that means it takes Guts to live your life doing what you love… A Bike Crank on your headstone?? I figure that means you can keep cranking all the way to the end….The Buddha??? If you do good things in this life you will be rewarded in the next.. or maybe I prefer to believe it was just a photographers way of getting me or anyone to pause, take a photo and ride on with in wonder.
Well Played Dana Kellogg ! ……Thanks