James Dean. The rebel. The icon. A legend. By far one of my favorite actors to ever grace the screen. I wonder how much he would have accomplished if it were not for that fatal car accident in Cholame, California.
On a whim years ago, I went to visit the fatal car crash site where he had died. I had gone with my neighbor to buy some comics and driving home we joked about going. At that time, my interest in Jimmy had emerged again and I was having marathons of his films. We joked how we were going to just take off and go visit the site since there was a monument erected in his honor and we had always wanted to see it in person. We didn’t even go home. We just picked up his friend last minute and took off!
We drove north from Los Angeles until we finally reached our destination: Cholame. There is a small little diner next to where the monument is placed. We decided to take pictures and head inside to eat.
The monument itself has shown the wear of time. Numbers are missing, but it’s still standing after many decades. Once we went inside the diner, we noticed how homely it was. There were many magazine articles, pictures, and a reprint of the newspaper showcasing the story of his death. We weren’t too hungry, so we bought coffee and some “homemade” pie. Upon eating the pie, we noticed that it had a very familiar taste. It took a while but Kidvic’s (my neighbor) friend finally realized it tasted like Jell-O pudding. Home-made my ass!!
We bought a few souvenirs and decided to head back home soon. Driving home I saw a road sign that had Jimmy’s name on it. I pulled over because I just HAD to take a picture.
I’m glad I was able to visit this monument in person. It was surreal knowing that I was near the same place that Jimmy died over 50 years ago. His legacy lives on now in film and in his iconic quotes still used to this day. He truly did live fast and died young.