Goodbye to the Cuckoo’s Nest

Massive old buildings have always fascinated me. I mean, really, who doesn’t want to wander around one for hours, imagining every fantastic and ordinary and wondrous and sordid thing that took place within its walls?

Or is it only writers who do that?

In September of 2008, the Oregon State Hospital in Salem (where they filmed the classic movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) orchestrated a series of tours of the facility, since large chunks of it were about to be torn down. The tours, though unpublicized, quickly became the hottest ticket in town. (Besides the Hollywood connection, the Hospital gained notoriety in 2005 when The New York Times published a story detailing how the unclaimed “cremains” of 3,489 former patients had been found in a storage room, in mouldering cans whose labels had rotted off.)

So what did I do when this fabulous opportunity to see a historic building presented itself?

I had a baby that month, and missed the entire thing. Continue reading