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Fans hold memorial at actor James Dean’s death site


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Travelers heading towards Paso Robles from Los Angeles, California, attracted by its good wines and hot springs, have two possibilities: driving for about three hours on Route 5, or driving for about four hours on Routes 101 and 1, one of the most beautiful in the country.

While the second option offers more pleasant stops, such as beaches and the Danish village of Solvang, the first passes exactly at the accident site where actor James Dean (1931-1955) died, today the junction of roads 41 and 46, in Cholame.

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The actor of “Young Men” (1955) was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder from Los Angeles to a competition in Northern California when he hit a 1950 Ford Tudor that was crossing the road in a risky way.

The driver of the Tudor and the passenger of the Porsche survived. The three were taken to a Paso Robles hospital, where Dean was pronounced dead.

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At the junction of the roads, there is an official plaque in honor of the actor. On the side of the accident site, a small memorial was formed, and until today it is still full of objects left by fans, although it is dangerous to access.

There is a perpendicular road a few meters ahead where you can stop the car and walk back.

Among the trinkets are cigarette packs, a box of unopened beer cans, a “Fast and Furious” DVD, letters, plastic flowers and even two intact burritos.

A few hours before the accident, Dean had been pulled over by a police officer and given a speeding ticket – he was speeding 105 km/h on the 90 km/h road. Copies of the ticket can be purchased at the Jack Ranch Cafe, less than 2 km away from the memorial.

The place also sells t-shirts and mugs. It’s all decorated with James Dean movie posters and newspaper clippings of the accident, one of them with a picture of the total destruction of the Porsche. In the parking lot, a Japanese fan named Seita Ohnishi built a steel sculpture around a tree in honor of the actor.

Two huge plaques carry a text by Ohnishi, comparing the 24-year-old to Japanese cherry trees: “Death in youth is life that shines eternal.”

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I have worked as a journalist for over 10 years, and my work has been featured on many different news websites. I am also an author, and my work has been published in several books. I specialize in opinion writing, and I often write about current events and controversial topics. I am a very well-rounded writer, and I have a lot of experience in different areas of journalism. I am a very hard worker, and I am always willing to put in the extra effort to get the job done.

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