I’ve been off for the last few days doing promotional-type stuff for my new book, Calculated Loss. (Hence the relative silence in this space. I’ve been jawin’ elsewhere.)
The photo was taken last Friday at the Vancouver Police Centennial Museum. Priya Ramu of CBC’s On the Coast was there doing a live broadcast all afternoon. It was fun and Priya is super, but I was really floored by the amazing space.
The museum was at one time where all the police action in Vancouver happened and most of the museum’s displays played an active role in policing the city when the building was HQ.
You don’t get a total feel for it in the photo, but host Priya has me and author Michael Slade (Swastika, Kamikaze) smack dab in the middle of what used to be the morgue. You can see her support people right behind us, set up on some sort of prehistoric gurney/autopsy table and there were lots of sinks and washstands all around us. You get to feeling a little creepy if you think too hard about what all that stuff was used for.
I found it interesting that both the old morgue and the autopsy room have really magnificent skylights. I guess when the structure was built, artificial light was pretty dicey. It would have been important to maximize whatever light was available. We tend to think of morgues -- especially old timey ones -- as being hidden away in basements and other places where people don’t have to see them very much. In Vancouver, however, this was clearly not the case as the spaces devoted to dealing with dead people were pretty much the best in the building in terms of light and air.