After The Fire.

Because I have a hard time following rules, at least when they’re arbitrary, meaningless rules I’ve decided to extend the seven days of black and white photographs by one with this final picture. It’s one I also really like and I hope others do too. It reminds me that I grew up on a cul-de-sac and for years there was no fire hydrant anywhere nearby. I’m not sure if this was an oversight or if regulations just didn’t stipulate it, but then one day in late summer a construction crew showed up and blocked off a rectangular section of asphalt. Then they came back over several more days and dug a trench that extended about four feet out from the curb and was about five feet deep. Every time they left all the kids—there were about six of us who lived there at the time—would gather around it. There was a neighborhood dog, a friendly Springer Spaniel named Freckles, who would later be the sire of my dog Friskie, but that’s another story. Freckles loved to chase tennis balls and one day as I was throwing a ball for him it bounced into the trench and Freckles went in after it. It had rained so there was a layer of water at the bottom of the trench. Freckles was splashing around down there and I thought, Oh great, how am I going to get him out? And then he hopped right out, shook himself, and dropped the ball at my feet and gave me a look that clearly said Do that again!

Within a couple of weeks a fire hydrant had been installed and the trench filled in and it just faded into the background as if it had always been there.

The story would have ended there had I not read Dylan Anderson’s post about the Carr fire in California, which has also affected Tom, who challenged me to start the black and white photographs challenge in the first place. There’s very little I can say beyond expressing sympathy with all those affected and the hope that the fire can be brought under control soon. It also made me think about how quickly things can change, how an event in the present can reframe a memory, so that something that had faded into the background can suddenly become very relevant, very important.

9 Comments

  1. floweringink

    Everything about this is beautiful, Christopher. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. One last photo seemed appropriate under the circumstances.

      Reply
  2. Red

    I love black and photos. If there’s decent contrast to make B&W worthwhile. Nice!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s something I thought of as I manipulated some of these photos to make the contrasts sharper and bring out the textures. Taking out the color really places emphasis on other things.

      Reply
  3. Ann Koplow

    Your blog, Chris, is very relevant, very important. Many thanks.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I feel it would be nothing without the contributions of comments such as yours.

      Reply
  4. Tom

    This is so amazing, Chris, thank you. Your talent for frame of reference is truly without peer. Thank you so much for taking up the challenge and for being there in spirit for Dylan and Mrs C and I. We are all fine. I am back in my home, and it is completely undamaged. Cheers to you, and sally forth we go. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m glad you’re home and I hope the skies have started clearing and that you can soon have a beer and see the stars. Jupiter is rising in the southwest and Mars is in the southeast and I had something clever to say about that before I drained the last of the beer I was having.

      Reply
      1. Tom

        NO clear skies yet; the fire continues to grow. But the stars will return, in time, and so will football. I had something more clever to say, too, before I woke up after draining too many last night. 😉

        Reply

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