Wed, June 26

Letter: Let’s not be so obsessed with fixing everything up in Jerome


I read your editorial on the Cuban Queen Bordello on March 11, 2017. When I was a boy in Jerome, 1953-1955, I always wondered what was inside all those boarded-up buildings.

When I saw the photo of the Cuban Queen with the collapsed roof, I thought, “wow, after all these years I finally get to see inside.” I have never seen inside a bordello, Cuban or otherwise.

What passion arises from the collapse of a bordello, probably only matched by the passion at the construction of a bordello.

Now begin all the impassioned discussions at town meetings about how to manage this old building.

Not everything in Jerome needs to be fixed, “restored,” or managed by a committee. Some of the most charming parts of Jerome have never been managed or fixed; they are just left standing as reminders of their hundred-year lifetimes.

Some of us find the collapsed roof of the Cuban Queen interesting and beautiful.

All is not lost here. The Jerome Ghost Walk could add another chapter to the story of the Cuban Queen.

I can see plein air artists and photographers having a new subject for their art. Ghost town Bodie, California, for example, retains its collapsing buildings, giving them some basic structural support, while not trying to “restore” them. These buildings are beautiful in their state of arrested decay and last many years with their original boards, peeling paint, and cracked windows changing with time.

Another “restored” building doesn’t add to the authenticity of the town.

Many “restored” towns become banal and lose their authentic charm.

Let’s let the Cuban Queen Bordello be what it is -- a crumbling old building with a real story; let’s not try to fix up everything.

Don Feher