Tuesday, July 04, 2006

94 Years Ago -- 70 Feet and Falling

On July 4, 1912, my great uncle Claude Cheuvront Coddington jumped from a bridge on the edge of downtown Kansas City with another bachelor with whom he shared a rented room on Locust Avenue. Those are about the only proven facts I know of those facts or his 24 years on this earth. I think that I may be the only human being that knows he ever lived. I recently wrote a story called “70 Feet and Falling” in which I tied to go beyond the facts and try to find some of the truth in what happened that night. Though it’s likely that I will never know what happened that night, I read volumes into what I can see in these ancient photos of him during his brief career as a street car driver in Kansas City. My grandmother always said that she saw so much of him in my eyes, which was a confirmation of everything I assume today. She said that he was known for his lilting French-Canadian accent that sang out the bland names of the streetcar stops on the prairie. As she said, the morning after he jumped, life in Kansas City went on as normal but the music on the Interurban line died.

Check back here once I get around to editing "70 Feet and Falling" which I also hope to edit as a slide and music piece.

UPDATE: In January 2007, I made this video about these family members.

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