Monday, January 24, 2022

T is for Children's Bell Tower

 

Today I'm taking you to the small seaside town of Bodega Bay. At the Northern end of the town, right off famous Highway 1, you can find the Children's Bell Tower. I had always wanted to visit the bell tower, but in our more than 20 years of living in Sonoma County we have never stopped here, even though we passed it many many times.

But Sunday before last we finally went there. It was my birthday and I could decide how to spend the day. I wanted to walk the Coastal Prairie Trail which starts right next to the bell tower.

The bell tower is visible from Highway 1 (if you know where to look), but there are no signs. You have to know where it is. There is a small dirt parking lot right next to the community garden from where you walk to the bell tower. 

I'm sure that most of you have heard of Nicholas Green who was shot by highway robbers in 1994 and whose parents decided to donate his organs to seven Italians. The Green Family was from Bodega Bay and the Children's Bell Tower was built in memory of Nicholas and all the children.


The tower has more than 140 bells that were donated by families, schools, churches, and individuals all over Italy. The monument is the work of San Francisco sculptor Bruce Hasson.

No two bells look exactly the same. There are big ones and small ones, plain ones and those with beautiful decoration. 




The central bell has been donated by the Marinelli Foundry, that has been making bells for the Papacy for more than 1000 years. This bell was blessed by Pope John Paul II.

A view from below

All those bells are so beautiful. It is a very moving monument.


After we had visited the bell tower we walked along the Coastal Prairie Trail and finally down to the beach. It was a wild surf, just one day after we had a tsunami warning because of the underwater volcano eruption near Tonga. But this will be the story for a later post.

In the evening we got some sushi and had a bottle of our favorite bubbly - which is my ticket for Eizabeth's T post.




22 comments:

My name is Erika. said...

Happy belated birthday Carola. That sounds like a lovely way to spend your birthday. I hope you had a wonderful hike, and thank you for sharing the bells with us. They are really beautiful. I like how they are all different from each other. I am an organ donor myself, so the idea behind this memorial, though sad, does bring life to those he helped save. (Obviously I didn't lose my life to donate though-smile). Have a wonderful T day and week ahead. And thanks again for the cards. They are really wonderful. Hugs-Erika

kathyinozarks said...

Good evening, I am so happy you shared the bell tower-so special and I was not familiar with the story. It must sound amazing when there is a breeze what a wonderful tribute and remembrance
Happy T Kathy

Linda Kunsman said...

A bittersweet history and story about the Children's Bell Tower. Thank you for sharing this new to me story and place. Happy T day!

Terra said...

This story and your photos about the children's bell tower made my heart soar. People can rise from the ashes and do so much good, and the sculptor had a beautiful artistic vision.

Elephant's Child said...

Happy belated birthday to a fellow Capricorn.
I love the bell tower - and what a fine way to be remembered and commemorated.
I am a big fan of bubbly too.

Gretchen Joanna said...

I was out there just last week and my companion was trying to tell me about the bells, but I had no idea what she was talking about, because, unbelievably, I had *never* heard of them!

Thank you so much for this post. I will definitely have to plan a visit.

Valerie-Jael said...

The Bell tower story is very moving, how wonderful to reply to a violent crime with forgiveness and generosity! Sorry I didn't get round to visiting last week, I was just to ill to sit at the computer! Hugs, Valerie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Happy belated birthday, Carola. It sounds like it was celebrated to the fullest. I have never heard of the story of the little boy whose donated organs was behind the beautiful Children's Bell Tower. I enjoyed seeing the beautiful bells that were all so different, but went so well together. Not just a touching story, but one that provides hope, too.

So glad you were able to walk that trail and teach us about Nicolas Green, followed by a bit of bubbly champagne for your birthday celebration. Thanks for sharing this with us for T this Tuesday, dear Carola.

Let's Art Journal said...

Happy belated birthday! The bell tower looks amazing, I love all the different photos that you took - perfect ­čśü. Such a poignant story behind them too, it's such a lovely tribute. Happy T Day wishes! Hugs Jo x

Mae Travels said...

Bodega Bay is a place of memory for me -- we went there from time to time many years ago when living in the area, and have been back only once ever since. Of course that was before the bell tower, which looks lovely and poignant. That area seems more like magic now than something that actually happened in my life. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Jeanie said...

I know nothing about the bell tower -- it's very impressive! And a wonderful story behind it. I don't think I heard about that murder -- but it did so much for others, which is powerful. Isn't Bodega Bay where "The Birds" took place? I think so...

Red Rose Alley said...

Happy Birthday Carola. The Children's Bell Tower photos are interesting with a story and so much meaning behind them. That sounds like a nice place to visit for your birthday. I like the old rusty bell. ; )

~Sheri

Divers and Sundry said...

What a touching story and a creative memorial. I'll toast their memory with a drink, but probably not a sparkling one. Why do I not use the bubbly more often? Happy T Tuesday

Jackie McGuinness said...

Your post about the bells has just sent me down a rabbit hole looking through my photo archives as I am sure I have visited bells like this. I haven't found it yet.

pam nash said...

A wonderful birthday. I love the bell tower - I want one!

Iris Flavia said...

To the Bell Tower and Happy belated Birthday to you!

What a story about Nicholas! I always have my "Organspendeausweis" (just in German!) with me.
My goodness. We have some sparkling wine in the fridge since... December?!
I´m so afraid to not keep the job I just don´t feel like it. But YAY to you!

Barb said...

Happy belated Birthday, Carola. I remember the story of Nicholas' untimely death and the selflessness and forgiveness shown by his parents in the donation of his organs. The story makes me very sad but also grateful that people like his parents exist. I've been to Bodega Bay many times but never saw this monument. It's quite moving and beautiful in its simplicity.

one irrational bean said...

I had never heard of this or the story behind it. Very moving, Thank you for sharing.

Kate Yetter said...

I have never heard of this man but that is a very interesting story. The bell tower is very cool and reminds me of a medieval structure. I like how each bell is different. Your photography is lovely.
Sushi sounds delicious!
Happy Tea Day,
Kate

Sharon Madson said...

Amazing bell tower, and I had never heard the story either. Wonderful post. Happy T Day.

DVArtist said...

I love your post. It's been quite a while since I have visited the bells. You got some great shots. Happy day to you.

Willkommen auf meiner Kreativseite. said...

Hallo Carola,
nachtr├Ąglich noch alle guten W├╝nsche zu deinem Geburtstag, vor allem Gesundheit! Du bist also auch ein Steinbock, hast nur ein paar Tage vor mir Geburtstag ;-)
Die Geschichte von dem kleinen Jungen war mir nicht bekannt. Es ist wieder ein interessanter Beitrag von dir. Von diesem Glockenturm hatte ich noch nie etwas geh├Ârt.

Liebe Gr├╝├če
Renate