Rebel Without a Cause

James Dean Memorial, Cholame, California

James Dean Memorial, Cholame, California

I’ve always thought that James Dean was a cool dude so I had been looking for his memorial for several years. I knew it was somewhere along highway 46 near Cholame but kept passing it apparently without seeing it. This time, I saw a sign at the intersection of highways 46 and 41, that referred to the area as James Dean Memorial Intersection, so I knew it had to be there somewhere. Despite that I almost passed it again because it’s just a metal sculpture underneath a big tree. Kind of hard to spot as it just sneaks up on you unexpectedly. I slowed, and couldn’t make out the words on it, still not sure this was the James Dean Memorial, so it wasn’t until I walked up to it to read it that I knew this was indeed the spot.

For those who don’t know, James Dean, was a young actor who died in a car crash (while street racing) at this intersection in 1955. His most famous movie was Rebel Without a Cause, which ironically has him surviving a car racing incident that killed his rival. I don’t mean to make light of his death, but I think the way he died just adds to his legend. What better way to go out than by not giving a fuck about what anyone else thinks and doing what you love most?

See more of my California Central Valley photos.

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