Ghost Town Gathering: Friends of Bodie Day

Behold living history presentations around the most famous ghost town in the West.

Alysia Gray Painter

THE HISTORY-LOVING, SIGHT-SEEKING TRAVELER... really wants it both ways all the time. "Both ways all the time" is pretty much impossible, regardless of the situation at hand, and yet, it is true in this respect. The adventurer wants to trot into a storied town and have time alone, or mostly alone, with it. Quiet and wind and calm should rule, and the traveler can stand before the tale-packed buildings awash her in thoughts. And yet... And yet. Sigh. The traveler also wants to hear costumed actors present the characters of the wayback era, offerings that help fill out what the plaques upon the buildings and the brochures given out at the gate cannot (or at least cannot quite as colorfully). Thank our sweet boots that Bodie, "the best example of an old mining town in America," caters to both our wishes to be silent among the silent structures and, on occasion, beef up our knowledge of the famous ghost town. That beefing up will occur on Saturday, Aug. 8, which happens to be Friends of Bodie Day around the state park, a fun fundraiser that actually is both about beefing up and beef. For there's...

A BARBECUE ON... for attendees, and lots of living history presentations, too. "Period Costume Encouraged," recommends the flier, though you'll want to leave those pistol replicas at home. Bring your appetite for knowledge, for it shall be filled. How was the town settled? How many people lived there around 1870, when it was in full bloom and boom? And what made it a ghost town? All questions that are ably answered. Ponies, old-style buggies, old-style songs played live, and other era-specific accouterments will lend liveliness and meaning to the day. Non-members of the Bodie Foundation are welcome to join from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. while an evening program is open to members. Does that tempt you to join, history-loving, sight-seeking traveler? If you haven't yet? For Bodie is so rarely open to the public by night. And figure a foundation membership helps to keep a treasured place in the ideal state of "arrested decay" it gently occupies. Saddle up and clip-clop this for all the ye olde need-to-knows.

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