In Memoriam: David Lathram / Gigsville's Half Dome

  Locations of visitors to this page
be notified of website changes? subscribe

In Memoriam: David Lathram / Gigsville's Half Dome

Wed 30 October 2002

Took the whole family to the Ranger Half Dome (or halfdome as others have written it) memorial beach burn this San Francisco's Ocean Beach, stairwell no. 28, the southernmost access staircase; one walks onto the beach and then turns yet a bit more south (left), around a small dune.

Ranger Half Dome
Ranger Half Dome (with eyeglasses) and friend

About a week earlier:

From Joseph Pred, Emergency Services Operations Chief, Black Rock City:
It is with great sadness for me to report that David Lathram, Medic 233, aka Ranger Half Dome, an ESDR RN and Ranger for many years passed away yesterday of unknown causes in his home. He was a great contributor to the Burning Man community and to Gigsville, his home away from home!

Please reflect for a moment his contributions, and know that we will have one of our own to honor in next years flag and plaque ceremony.

He will be missed!

It took me [Ranger Mickey] a few days to figure out who Half Dome actually was. In the blur of Burning Man sometimes I don't make the connection between their playa names and faces. Then it came to me. Half Dome and I chatted every year for a few minutes (at least). This year he asked permission to enter the burn perimeter at my station. We recognised each other, hugged, and as I led him to a good vantage point we had our annual chat, squatting in the dust, sharing a moment. He was so proud of the work he'd done helping build the Man; the mechanical failure of the Man's arm during the burn saddened him. As we ended our chat he handed me a cigarette lighter with the words "Half Dome - Gigsville" festooned on the side. I guess we won't be chatting next year. :-(

Lila hasn't liked darkness these last two days, so she and Rose slept in the car while Isaac and I grabbed the wood we'd brought from home and headed onto the cool sands.

We were punctual, and got to witness the start of the bonfire by flame-thrower. Isaac loved it. It reminded him of the Decompression Party the weekend before last. Ranger Lefty was there, and Badger, and some of the communications people, and many of the Gigsville crowd. Twenty, twenty-five, or so.

It was a beautiful evening for a burn. The air was about 57° F (13° C), the breeze was gentle, and the sky was clear and starry. The fire took the chill from the air, and made it quite comfortable; easy to relax. We told tales, munched snacks, and shared libations. My favorite was scotch & playa dust.

Isaac loves fire. Every minute or two he was tossing small and large pieces of wood. He said he was a "Burning Man boy". Makes a father so proud :-) This afternoon he wanted to know why we'd be going to the beach. I told him it was to celebrate a friend, something like a birthday party except the guest of honor couldn't make it. He thought that was a fine idea.

Just after I've posted this I read a story about the California Coastal Records Project. So I head over there to grab an image to show the burn location (marked by the 'X'). Stair 28 is marked as well. You can see how close we were to the intersection of Lincoln Boulvard and the Great Highway.

burn location

Image used, of course, without permission.

Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me email. Thanks!

What's New?  •  Search this Site  •  Website Map
Travel  •  Burning Man  •  San Francisco
Kilts! Kilts! Kilts!  •  Macintosh  •  Technology  •  CU-SeeMe
This page is copyrighted 1993-2009 by Lila, Isaac, Rose, and Mickey Sattler. All rights reserved.