Posts Tagged With: Day of the Dead



The Day Of The Dead is on its fourth year as a celebration in Murphys. Here is a staged family out for a ride…


I don’t know quite how different it would be in Mexico, but this is America, so of course, the dog rides in the back with the kids.


One of the vacation rentals puts on displays, and this year’s theme was references to Frieda Kahlo. Beautifully done.


Folklorico representing various states in Mexico with traditional dances and  costuming held in Murphys Park.


Kids and adults dress up and paint their faces in sync with the celebration. This group was watching the dancers with rapt attention.


Like a statue, this little girl didn’t move once during the whole set of dancers.


When this fellow came out with two, long blades, I knew we were in for something special.


Flashing blades at considerable speed, over head and under and between his legs made for quite a show. But then, a repeat with a blindfold on had me gasping.


No small feat. And with dire warnings from the MC, “don’t try this at home.”


Folkorico music always very fast and invigorating, the costuming beautiful. Very enjoyable. Jim attended a Day of the Dead in Mexico and said the music was deafening.


A tourist attraction, with staged displays made for a nice outing, but for some people, the celebration is very real, about the death of and remembrance of a loved one.


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The Day of the Dead, celebrated in Murphys, was a good opportunity to take some time from mundane chores and head for town. Jim got into a shirt he bought in Central America or Mexico, where he has seen a genuine Dia de los Muertes celebration and parade.

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The first altar we came to was celebrating the life of Frenchman, Maurice Chevelier,  erected by a French couple who run the tasting room in Murphys “Mall”. Another we encountered later celebrated Julia Child.

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The Marisola Olive Oil tasting room had a more personal remembrance, perhaps each employee put up pictures of deceased loved ones.

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I liked the “home-made” aspect of it. These are just cardboard boxes decorated with pictures. That is what the celebration is all about, once a year, remember our loved ones who have passed and celebrate life. In the deepest jungles of Brazil, where graves are close to home, the people celebrate with an altar on the grave. Typical food is empanadas.DSC07652 (Copy)

The other element of the celebration is to place things on the altar that the deceased person cherished, often favorite foods.  Flowers and candles are typical. This one was a mystery to us, the pliers and acorns. I can only admire and speculate, the cuts in the paper, the crayons, perhaps an artist who used these tools? Made crafts from acorns?

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Inside of an art gallery  is a huge picture frame altar where visitors were encouraged to pick a tag and write the name of a loved one you wish to celebrate and hang it from the tree. Very touristy, and I expect that is what most of this celebration is about here in the new, re-invented Murphys, that visitors love so well.

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Speaking of re-inventing, suddenly, the Murphys Hotel has a ghost of “long-standing” with an elaborate story about her lost lover, and devoted employment at the hotel, her death and ghostly antics only witnessed by employees. Ghosts are very popular in the Motherlode.

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I really enjoyed the day. We followed the mariachi band from place to place.

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The costuming. There was a costume contest and parade. And participants like us who dressed up a bit. But, this costume was beautiful and very elaborate. I hope she won.DSC07621 (Copy)

This girl was taking a picture of the mariachi band.

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Miss Northern California Teen attended with her father.

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A second band entertained from a porch in the middle of town. They were a good listen.

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My neighbor, Pam Chisholm, got into the spirit of the day.

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Two places in town offered face painting.

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This gentleman was in front of the Gene and Norman Tanner house that  is now a vacation rental. He had the place outfitted to the max.

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You could by a skull and decorate it.

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He had very authentic Mexican candelabra and the typical cakes sold all over Mexico for this day.  He served candied pumpkin, another traditional food. Many of the 21 altars around town had traditional cakes.

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He had set-ups where you could have your picture taken.

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Even an altar to remember and celebrate your favorite pets.

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What I liked most about this celebration was how uncrowded it was. Here, in front of the Peppermint Stick, is a scene right out of the fifties. I thoroughly enjoyed walking town, even if half the businesses have changed hands, several times, and I can’t remember what they were. The Peppermint Stick and the Murphys Hotel have withstood the onslaught of too many wine tasting rooms. The celebration won’t stay this way for very long.  At 6:00 p.m. there was a candlelight procession to the St. Patricks Church Cemetery. We opted to skip home for dinner and a movie. We watched Tootsie, which neither of us had ever seen before.  I swear, we are culturally deprived. LOL

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Working On The Motorhome – Day 11

The motorhome is parked in Mary’s yard at her home at Murphys, California. My departure date to head South is now set for December 2nd. About one month later Mary will fly to meet me in Yuma, Arizona.

In the meantime, I’ll continue cleaning and doing minor work on both the motorhome and Bronco. After our 682 day journey, they were both ready for some attention.

Yesterday was a nice sunny day at 72 degrees. Unfortunately it appears to be our last of the 70’s day. The forecast calls for sunny weather in the 60’s through November 11th. Today is forecast sunny and 62 degrees.

Yesterday I thought I was going to shampoo the carpeting in the motorhome. When I went to the garage to retrieve the shampooer… I could not find it! I called Mary to ask her where it was…she came and could not find it. It was MIA…Missing In Action! After about 30 minutes of looking for possible places it might be, she called her youngest son Doug and sure enough he had taken it and will return it in a few days.

So instead I did some routine maintenance like…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Clean the solar panels…


Battery maintenance…


Drain the hot water tank…


In the afternoon, Mary wanted to go to the Day Of the Dead celebration in downtown Murphys. I was really looking forward to a photographic outing. Here are some of the photos that I took…











Unfortunately, that is as far as my picture-taking went. Like most of us Mary has some interesting character traits. One of hers is to run down batteries until they are DEAD! About this time in our day she announced that her camera battery was dead, Neither of us brought along a spare. I knew my battery was fully charged and saw no reason to bring the spare. Mary on the other hand… 🙂

Being the sweet guy that I am, I turned over my camera to her so she could continue taking photos. After all, I’ve seen a real Day Of The Dead celebration in Mexico. At the end of our day we took these photos of each other…



If you are not familiar with the Day Of The Dead celebration, you can read all about it by clicking this link…

My miscellaneous chores list is now complete. The only thing awaiting my attention is more cleaning on the interior of the motorhome.

More cleaning today.

Since our accident about 1.5 years ago, I now suffer from diminished energy/stamina. I can now work only 2-3 hours a day before I get tired and have to quit. I know that these current Blog entries are not particularly exciting reading, but they do reflect the daily activities of a full-time RVer. Gotta stop and clean and work on the vehicles once in a while!

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Keeping in touch is one of the rewards of blogging. Between email, the internet and my blog, I feel I have a lifeline to the greatest community in the world. Information at my fingertips and above all keeping in touch with people. Remember the telephone ad?  Reach out and touch someone? That is what it is like.

I heard from Genvieve Hardy, a Navajo woman we met on the road who invited us to dine with her and educated us about her culture. She weaves, teaches and works hard. I love it when we get a hello from our travels. We met her in 2012 in Arizona.

I blogged Joan Higgins yesterday and up popped Pat Seiferth, a person I dearly care about and because of a computer glitch, we went our separate ways. I’ll explain it in as few words as possible. I received two emails from Pat that had a cryptic note: PLEASE REMOVE ME FROM YOUR MAILING LIST. I was hurt and she denied sending it. The second one came and she denied sending it, as well, as did her husband. Several years later, my daughter told me that some email programs do that when the box is full, or just as a filter in their system, they will send the very message I was sure came From Pat. Mystery solved. By then, Pat had moved out-of-state, address unknown.  My apologies, Pat. I’m smarter now.

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And, my good friend Marilyn Pinnow let me know, as she sat among the moving boxes admiring the leaves out her window, that she had moved back to Murphys and asked me to attend a Day Of The Dead Procession that has gained a following in Murphys over the last three years. It is something you see in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil. It is about celebrating the lives of those you love who have passed. Another way of keeping in touch.

My friend, Ron Heinsma, sends me so many emails from so many fields of interest, I look forward to them every day.  This morning I got an email about how to connect with the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in D.C.  If you know someone who died in Viet Nam, it might be of interest to check out the Virtual Wall on the link below:



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