Day 56: Memorial.

There’s a small river town about a 20-minute drive from my house that Buzz and I haunt fairly regularly. There are good breakfast places, great junk shops, cozy little watering holes, train tracks by the river, and a weekend farmers’ market during warmer months. For years, we’ve gone up and down the main street, poking our heads in our favorite places, stopping for a coffee or a beer, or looking for some good photo subjects.

Day 55 - Open

For years, I’ve noticed that there is a small crèche on the corner of a little dead-end side street. I always thought it was an amusing little thing because crèches are quite common, but not ones with a Godzilla figurine in it. After seeing it many times, I finally looked at it one day.

It is a memorial to a 17-year-old boy.

Day 55 - Godzilla

The Godzilla and the crèche sit under a store window on the corner. The blue protective backdrop is always cleaned and the paint freshened up. There are always auxiliary dinosaurs near the corner and all along the side street. Sometimes they’ve been beaten around by winter storms, but come back in a few weeks, and they will be cleaned, upright, and keeping Godzilla company.

Day 55 - Dinosaurs downThis is a boy who is remembered and missed.

Day 55 - Dinosaurs and angel

Though I didn’t take pictures the first time I realized that the dinosaurs were a memorial, I finally did so this weekend. I also started wondering about the boy.

I couldn’t find much beyond a few snippets of the person he was. Or was becoming. In fourth grade, he was one of the winners of an essay competition about “What the Constitution Means to Me.” He played guitar in a rock band and his friends considered him quite talented. He died three years before his grandmother.

Day 55 - Caught in the vines

And he loved dinosaurs.

Day 55 - Halp

14 comments on “Day 56: Memorial.

    • limr says:

      I think it is, too. Nearly 20 years later and it’s still a very current memorial. The dinosaur figurines are always just a little different – some are added or taken away, or they’re in different positions every time I we go back. I noticed one of Godzilla’s arms is missing, but perhaps it will be found and repaired before I see it again. It’s sad but playful at the same time instead of the sort of one-note mournfulness of most typical memorials. Because of where it is, I wonder if his parents own that store on the corner. I suppose it’s possible that it could also mark the location where he died (like many teenagers, he may have died in a car accident) but though it’s on the corner of the main road in town, it’s quite a small road and not really conducive to speeds over 25 mph, so I think it’s unlikely that a major crash happened at that spot. Part of me wants to know, but the rest of me wants to leave it be. It’s such a sweet memorial that I would hate to find out that the kid was a jerk or something and died in a really really stupid way.

  1. Eric Van Tassel AKA Bubba says:

    I could tell you a hell of alot about the memorial for that young man Jed Dellarmi. He was a hell of a good friend threw high school and after, who I have great times with. He is someone I will never ever forget threw out my life.Jed was a hell of a musician who played in a few bands in the local area.But overall he was one hell of a great human being who would look out for his friends before himself and give you the shirt off his back if you asked him.

    I was in the car crash that took Jed’s life, Every time I look down at the scare’s on my hand I think of Jed and that very day we crashed in Beacon NY. Not to many days go by where ounce of twice his memory or something he would say even still to this day come into my mind. If you have any questions please feel free to ask

    • limr says:

      I’m so grateful that you found my post and commented. I’m so sorry you lost your friend. I always look for his Memorial whenever I am in Cold Spring (which is fairly often, actually). It has always so impressed me how it has been maintained and cared for even after all these years. Someone who inspires that much dedication must have been a wonderful person, and even though I never knew him, I’m glad that he is still remembered and loved.

    • Bart Dellarmi says:

      thank you for posting this, Eric….Bart

  2. a friend says:

    I was his very good friend for many years. He was a very unique person. I’m not surprised that his memory is surviving in some way after all these years. I remember the Godzilla in his room when we were much younger. There is quite a story around this individual, both his life and death affected many people. Jed and I first met when we were in sixth grade, though I knew him in elementary school as well. He and I were musical brothers. I was in every band he was ever in, and with Jed began my lifelong career in music. After all these years my friendship with Jed still stands out as one of the closest and dear friendships I ever had. He left an impalpable trace of himself in all who knew him; that spirit comes through in the Godzilla memorial. He has an enduring presence. For me, the accident was traumatic and took a great person way too soon, but the years of knowing Jed and his essence prove to me that one’s essence can still stir people and make them contemplate the unknown.

    • limr says:

      I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond, and I hope you will see this.

      Thank you very much for your lovely testament to your friend. There is certainly something that draws folks to that spot on the corner, and not just the unlikely sight of a Godzilla figure and dinosaurs. It’s clearly cared for, so it’s not hard to figure out that he was deeply loved, but it always felt more than that. That memorial and leaves a mark to the people who pay attention to it.

      All of this is what motivated me to take the pictures and write something, and I’m glad that this somehow made its way to some of his friends.

  3. Bart Dellarmi says:

    love and
    blessings on all friends of Jed…Bart Dellarmi

  4. an old friend says:

    I can’t believe I came across this…. I personally knew Jed, what a great friend, person, brother, and son he was……. I will never forget that day….. he will forever be missed

  5. Jake says:

    Jed and I hung out a ton in Middle school and I was one of his first band mates when we were in 8th grade. I couldn’t really play as I had just started but Jed was so talented no one ever noticed or cared. He just rocked on that guitar even as an 8th grader. We would blast out his parents house practicing and they would never tell us to turn it down. They would let us go for hours. At the end of the year we entered the High School talent show and he upstaged everyone in that thing. They dubbed us the “Middle School Wonder Band” and we took 1st place. Those times will always be with me and I’m greatful for them. I’ll never forget him.

    • limr says:

      I’m so pleased that so many of his friends have found this little blog and told stories of him here. I didn’t really expect it, but it’s really nice to get to know him through those who knew and loved him. Thank you so much for sharing your memories.

  6. Laura says:

    I traveled up to Cold Spring from NYC and I too came across this memorial. I took photos because I thought it was awersome and had to belong to an awesome person as well. So nice to hear all the kind words about this young man!

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