Have you ever seen something you loved so much you couldn’t get it out of your mind? Maybe it was a pair of new sneakers or a painting that touched you deeply. That is how Chris Furniss felt the first time he laid his eyes on his beloved 1991 Cadillac Brougham Hearse. You may think it weird, and perhaps it is, but they’ve been together now for a couple of months, and he loves every minute of it!
Chris has always loved Halloween. He worked for Spirit Halloween Store for many years and has an entire storage unit full of Halloween decorations and props that he can’t fit into his house. Now he works the graveyard shift at Astoria Gateway Cinemas and lives in Warrenton. It’s hard to miss Lydia when she’s on the roads of the north coast. It’s not every day you see a hearse as a regular means of transportation.
He first laid his eyes on “Lydia” when a friend and he were on a landscaping job together. He got the name from Winona Rider’s character in Beatle Juice. She was parked in a driveway in Seaside, and he was immediately smitten. That was nearly two years ago, but he couldn’t get the car out of his mind. He felt drawn to her and dreamed of getting behind the wheel. He started saving up money, $50 here. A few bucks there. He wanted to be prepared if she ever went up for sale. Then, one day, he drove by and saw she had a new accessory, a For Sale sign hung in the window! It took him 9 months to save up the money, and fortunately, she was still available! Finally, car and driver were brought together as it should be!
He spent a couple of months fixing her up. She was actually used for fishing by her previous owner, which is why there is a fish skeleton on the rear. He’s been returning her back to her original condition, He added new curtains and some other parts and accessories. It’s a long process, but she’s looking sweet (or scary, depending on your perspective).
I asked Chris what his plans are for Halloween. He’s trying to get the night off so he, Lydia, and Captain Bones can drive around entertaining people in the area. Captain Bones is his passenger, a pirate skeleton complete with an eye patch! If you spy Chris, Lydia, and Captain Bones on the roads of Astoria or Warrenton, wave a friendly hello. From all of us at Clatsop News, Have a safe and Happy Halloween!