zondag, februari 06, 2005

Barking Quail Fine Art Photos

I grew up on East 13th street in a sleepy little town in Kansas. It was a neighborhood filled with families. The kids in the neighborhood constantly played in the brick streets, which I think must have been less busy back then than they are now. Summers were best. We played "Capture the Flag" when the weather was good - sometimes until long after it was dark. If there were storms, the streets flooded and we waded through them with no thought of electrocution from downed power lines. I remember once during a flood my little sister Molly fell into a sewer access hole that was open becase the metal covering had been removed before the storm. Because of the flooding, you couldn't see there was a hole. I instinctively grabbed her and pulled her out of it seconds before she would have been pulled under by the rushing water. Our biggest concern was what we were going to tell out parents so they wouldn't be mad at us for being all wet. We had no idea at the time how close we were to tragedy.
The best was when the big trucks came around and sprayed to kill mosquitos. I loved it because there was this amazing amount of "fog" (read "poison") that came out of the backs of the trucks. You had to act fast,but if you were quick you could hop on your bike and ride behind the truck surrounded by the fog for blocks.This was exciting because fog was a rare thing in Kansas in the summer. I believe that I was probably (luckily) the only child in Hutchinson with enough imagination (?) to do this on a regular basis. Ah, Good times.

In the winter, we slid on the brick streets when they were covered with ice, and were pulled behing cars on sleds after it had snowed.

Anyway, most of the families we grew up with didn't move throughout our childhoods. I don't keep in touch with many of those childhood friends, but occaissionally hear from or find one.

Rand Partridge grew up on the same block as I did - 6 houses West. In addition to academic work he's involved in, he also has been photographing the city we grew up in, as well as other places he's travelled through.

As a wedding present, he's offered us a framed photo of our choice from his collection. I'm leaning toward this one, of what used to be (is it still?) the longest grain elevator in the world, but it's a tough choice.

Thanks, Rand. It will be nice to have a memory of home on the wall here.