The Ghosts of Jerome Arizona

If you are student of history, as I am, you study ghosts, the people that came before you, that grew up in the house you live in, planted the crab apple and apricot trees you eat from, plundered the mountain where you now you walk your dog and try to figure out what they created or destroyed has to do with the present and future.

If part of you is a romantic, how could you not sense the ghosts that still amble about Jerome’s streets, souls that did not want to depart for some other job, another ugly mining town, who died too early, got too old, parked their memories inside their homes so their emotions could tug them back, to hard times, better times, family times. These are the ghosts that can’t bury Jerome in their hearts and take to haunting the people that live there.

And if you have studied some Buddhism or Taoism, as I have, you understand that the spirits of animate and inanimate life are everywhere around and that to shutter yourself off from them is to shut down part of your humanity, separating yourself from the essential nature of the universe.

(Prologue: Diane Sward Rapaport’s new book, Home Sweet Jerome, Rescuing a Town from its Ghosts, forthcoming Spring 2014 from Johnson Books (Big Earth Publishing).

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