Ambitious man, unassuming grave

We were cruising around the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Colma last week — (it’s a long story) — when we stumbled on this tombstone:

That’s “Brown” as in Edmund “Pat” Brown, architect of the State Water Project that fuels California’s trillion-dollar economy.

The governor’s resting place is relatively modest, compared with a nearby cavernous marble mausoleum and finely carved columbariums bearing the names of some of San Francisco’s most prominent Catholics. (Joe DiMaggio’s grave is only a moment’s walk up the hill from Brown’s).

Certainly, the simple, black tombstone — adorned only with the governor’s last name, and a cross — stands in contrast with the complex and intricate water delivery system for which Brown is best known.


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    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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