The Neptune Society’s lovely columbarium in San Francisco features a stained glass window in every room off its main floor rotunda. Every room, that is, except one. The Tiffany window from the 13th room was stolen before the Neptune Society took possession of the building and has never been recovered. That room has plain white frosted glass in memory of what was lost.
The columbarium is one of my favorite places in San Francisco. I take everyone there. I even sent John Levitt there when he was looking for San Francisco locations for Unleashed, the third Dog Days book.
I’ve toured the columbarium three times now, most recently with the Obscura Society. Every tour has been different, even though caretaker Emmit Watson led each one. After his decades of caring for the building, he has so many stories that he can tailor what he tells each time.
I’ve written about the columbarium before as a cemetery of the week, but that didn’t really explain the depth of my affection for the place.
This last time I visited, we got to explore the new wings. I’d never been in there before. Most of the niches are empty still, but the space was alive with the sound of a fountain. The cool blue light coming through the stained glass window was peaceful. I started to think that I might have found my permanent resting place in San Francisco.
I’m not in any immediate need of it, but it feels good to have that settled.
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