On August 24, 2009, a tragic accident took the life of then-15 year old Allie Castner. It was in October 2011, while biking along the rail trail that I happened upon this piece of graffiti under a bridge. I was struck by the size of the work as well as the vibrant colors amidst the darker surroundings. As a testament to the impact that Allie had on others, no one has altered this work to date. While some would argue that graffiti is illegal and defaces public property, I found this to be a very touching memorial to Allie that clearly came from her friends.
In the days leading up to this post, I had the pleasure of interacting with Allie’s mother. She was able to put into words what I felt looking at this piece of art:
“For me, it expresses such raw, heartfelt emotion. It was painted shortly after Allie was killed and the artist contacted my daughter, Lia, via Facebook to let her know it was there for her, for Allie, and for my family. 3 years later it still remains. Thank you again for remembering my Allie. I am blessed that so, so many still carry her in their heart.”