Friday, April 25, 2008

Open Space Friday - #4

This is the fourth installation of my series on Ted Pugh, the "Pomona poet."

I confirmed with Mickey Gallivan a couple of weeks ago that the Historical Society has no information or artifacts in their museum regarding Ted. I also confirmed with Bruce Guter in the Pomona Library's Special Collections Department that they have nothing for Ted there, other than the photographs of his house which I have already posted here.

It's weird, tho, because when I was at Special Collections a few years ago, an index card with Ted's name, address and description as the "Pomona poet" sort of fell out of a folder. It was one of those happenstance events that made me think I should find out more about him. I don't think the plaque was in front of the castle yet. On my most recent visit to special collections, not even the index card could be located.

I went to the Pomona Cemetery and spoke with Melody and Flo, the friendly ladies who work there. Melody told me that according to their records, Ted's body was cremated elsewhere, and his remains were buried alongside Edith Marshall on March 19, 1998. Ted and Edith share space 619, located on the east side of the Cemetery, near Franklin.

When I walked out to Ted's grave, I found that the spot only contained a placard for Edith Marshall, who died in 1969. Edith must have been his mother. Ted's grave is absent any information about him, including his name, since it does not have a headstone or placard. Ted's grandparents, the Emmons Marshalls, are buried closeby. Someone named R.V. Marshall purchased the plot in 1969.

Was that how Ted wanted it, or was there simply not enough money for a headstone?

The past few days there have been some middle-aged African American women collecting money at Towne and the 10 freeway. They are holding up a sign that says "burial expenses" with a photograph of a toddler. The one lady told me yesterday that the little girl died at only 18 months old due to a congenital heart condition. Be sure to carry some cash on you as you drive by today. It's important for people to be remembered properly.



Anonymous said...

You can get copies of Ted's published works from Cedric Rogers, Ted's local publisher, at 909-620-1100.
Ted was raised by his grandparents as Ted Marshall until later in lifer when he learned of his true father and mother, and became Ted Pugh. He worked for many years at the LA Arboretum, and started writing poetry while there.
I am told that proceeds from his work go to help support a small scholarship at Cal Poly Pomona.

Anonymous said...

The R.V. Marshall that purchased the plot in 1969 is Horatio (Ray)V. Marshall, Ted's uncle. Ted's mother was placed in home in Modesto, Ca. for what would be described today as post-partum depression. Ted was raised in his Grandparents home but his Aunt Edith stepped into the role as his mother (Edith was also the name of his Grandmother). It was not until Ted either entered the military or was drafted into the military that he learned that he was actually Edward "Ted" Pugh and I was told this was a very difficult time for Ted. I have lots more information on Ted's life but Ted was very private so I do not know how he would feel about placing his information on the internet. We often feel that he is watching over us. He was not fond of modernization. As the current steward's of the castle, we try to keep Ted's memory alive and promote all of the good that he stood for...Scott T.