Dear PoP – In Memory of Alice Swanson

DSCN7045, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“Dear PoP,

I’m writing about something I’ve seen mentioned a couple of times on your site, with some discussion/debate, but which is very close to my heart.

This morning, I stopped by Alice Swanson’s ghost bike. I was placing some flowers in the basket and debating whether to clean out some of the older flowers left there, when a gentleman came up and asked me if I was a friend of Alice’s. I said I was, and he said that he lived in the area and biked by every day, and appreciated seeing the bike every day.

I know that not all of your readers and commenters feel the same way, and I don’t know what the future plans are for Alice’s bike. I do know that I try to tend to it whenever I am nearby, and I know that countless others– those who knew Alice and many who didn’t– also keep it looking nice, and often decorate it for holidays and such. If this is a distraction to riders or an eyesore to some, I’m sorry– that is certainly not the intention. For many of us, it is a place to remember Alice and to have an outward expression of our feelings at her loss and also at her life, and the ghost bike itself stands as a reminder of caution.

Today is the one year anniversary of Alice’s death. Whether Alice’s bike remains for another day or another decade, I hope that it will be a reminder to all of us to be safe, to ride safe, walk safe, drive safe, and be aware of one another. And I hope that it will remind all of us to tell our friends and loved ones that we care about them, to appreciate their presence in our lives, and to never take them for granted.”

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