Clallam Bay: Rock provides strong barrier to community’s pain

CLALLAM BAY — For the youth of this small community, grieving the loss of four friends starts with cans of silver spray paint.

For as long as anyone remembers, a boulder on a scenic outlook overlooking Sekiu has been a place to recognize notable events.

On Saturday afternoon, it was a place for nearly 40 teen-agers and young adults to come together to remember their friends who were killed in a car wreck sometime early that morning.

John Anthony Hubble’s 1997 Geo Metro ran off state Highway 112 and plunged into the Pysht River, killing Hubble, 20, and his passengers, Damien Scott Anderson, 18, Cassidy James Hunter, 16, and Erik Michael Kroeger, 18.

It took only 15 minutes for an assortment of messages scribbled on the rock to be covered in wet silver paint — the base for the makeshift memorial.

With the silvery coat on, seven friends holding spray paint cans paused to look at their work.

“What do we want to write?” one asked.

Silence.

Nearby, a crowd of their peers watched. Some talked quietly amongst themselves, some wept and held each other.

Most just stared at the 4½-foot-tall rock.

“Well, are we going to write something or just stand here?” Phil Burks quipped in a tone that hardly hid his grief.

For most of the past year, Burks, 23, and Anderson were roommates. Their friendship, which had lasted years, drew them as close as “brothers,” Burks said. “And you don’t get any closer than family.”

Burks wrote the first names of his four dead friends in blue.

Others gathered around to leave their messages.

“Rock on Dirk — we miss all you,” wrote Glen Nicholas, who called Anderson “Dirk.”

“It’s just something I think he would have wanted me to write,” Nicholas said.

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Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group

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