I had never been to Indianapolis but it’s become one of my favourite cities. The architecture and the feeling you have walking around. It’s a fun city that looks like it promotes the culture to guests and residents. We went here to visit the Eternal James Dean exhibit at the state museum. No photos were allowed inside so I don’t have any to show. Another thing I liked about the city was the mix of the old and the new. The old buildings with new ones right next to it, or new buildings with vintage-themed shops. Here are some photos of the city.
So there’s is no explaining why I like James Dean. There’s something about him that from the first time I saw him I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Then I found out he was dead and I felt my heart was broken. I’m not going to lie, I cried when I found out. Even before I knew who he was I felt kind of tied to him. Since grade 4 my motto has been “Dream like you’ll live forever, Live like you’ll die today“. It was funny to find out 8 years later that he was the one who said that.
A few years ago, I was going through a really difficult time with my family splitting up and I felt no one understood me or what I was going through. And there was something about him that I felt did understand just through his movies. I haven’t watched the full movie of Giant because I just can’t. I can’t say it’s all over.
Before this trip I never saw James Dean out of my room or house. None of my friends were really fans or knew who he was. Walking into the James Dean Gallery I was overwhelmed by how much other people loved him. It wasn’t just me and people felt the same as me. They adored him but couldn’t understand why. He didn’t have a lot of interviews and you had to go off what other people said about him. And they definitely didn’t portray him as some kind of God. They talked of him as being kind, gentle, respectful, shy, can talk you ear off, and loved cars and bull fighting. But there were others who described him as sick and needing help because of his shyness and not being able to talk or approach people. His close friend described him as the loneliest person in the world. Maybe that’s why I can relate to him during difficult times in my life, because I feel the exact same way most of the time.
His grave was smaller than I expected and a lot smaller than any of the tombstones there. My father and I walked around for a good 20 minutes before we found him. He’s buried beside his aunt and uncle. His grave is very small with lipstick marks on it. It’s a tradition to kiss the stone but I couldn’t because my father was there and that made me uncomfortable. Seeing him in his grave made everything very real. This man I looked up to was dead and there I was just standing there, not knowing what to do. I wanted to cry, but again, my dad was there. He was a great actor and a great man.
I thought I would go to his hometown and pay my respects to a man who helped me in ways you can’t imagine and I will never be able to explain.
So my father and I went on a road trip we dubbed the “Dead Man’s Tour”. You may be wondering why we did this. The answer is, simply because we were visiting James Dean and Elvis.
James Dean has been a hero of mine since I first saw him only three years ago. Since then he’s been a constant inspiration and person I can relate to, even though he’s dead (RIP). I read online that the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis was having a James Dean Exhibit and of course I couldn’t pass that up!
My dad had offered to bring me on a road trip wherever I wanted to go, and I couldn’t choose between going to visit Jimmie and Elvis or go to Salem then up to the Maritimes in Canada. So while weighing the two options I made the choice to watch some Supernatural and it was the episode that helped me choose James Dean. In a tv show that’s about demons and ghosts and monsters, there was James Dean and Little Bastard in an episode. It was a sign from Jim, no doubt. 🙂 It was also lucky because the week we went, the east coast got butchered by rain.
So we went from Toronto-Fairmount-Indianapolis-Tennessee-Memphis and home again. In the next few weeks I’ll post highlights from the trip so stay tuned! Here are some photos to get you started.