From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah

We stopped by Aberdeen on the way home from Westport to visit Kurt Cobain Memorial Park.


The Wishkah River banks, only two blocks from Kurt’s childhood home. This tiny refuge from his troubled upbringing has been made into a tribute to the man Aberdeen long tried to distance itself from.


Aberdeen has been economically depressed as long as I can remember driving through. It was once a storied ship building city and a booming logging town. Both industries collapsed and the city has never recovered.

Kurt Cobain represented, on a world wide scale, the problems with which Aberdeen struggled, and continues to struggle. The drug use and his suicide were not what the city wanted to be known for.

Over the last few years the city has embraced Kurt. The sign on the highway leading into town reads, “Welcome to Aberdeen/ Come As You Are”. I’ve always felt like Kurt symbolized the struggles and obstacles faced by so many Aberdeenians, but he also represented the potential.

Some inspiration quotes. The quote above his picture contains the mother of all dirty words and a politician in the city insisted that it be blacked out. Visitors, however, have re-carved it back into the stone. Kurt would have been pleased.

The Young Street Bridge. Rumor is Kurt slept under this bridge one of the times he ran away from home.

Graffiti and messages from fans. This was really great. A little way that fans can grieve and remember.

Needles under the bridge. Drug use in Aberdeen, and everywhere else, wasn’t caused by Kurt, and his death didn’t make it go away. He just gave voice to it.





The banks are indeed muddy. The park was surprisingly emotional to me. This area was Kurt’s refuge from a world that didn’t accept him and didn’t love him. He tried and tried to escape Aberdeen, but he was never free. It’s beautiful that Aberdeen has finally embraced him.


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