Books, books, books

I hid in books. I dived into the pages and swam the great slip-stream of adventure and fiction and space and anywhere-but-here. When the cover attracted and the spine cracked and the pages turned, I wasn’t here but there. I was lost for hours, becoming The Poky Little Puppy or Harriet the Spy or The Hobbit. I journeyed to the Magical Forest or descended 20,000 Leagues under the Sea or rocketed to the Stars. I learned To Build a Fire and To Kill a Mockingbird in The Crucible for The Once and Future King. I drifted into a Secret Garden and hopped on Watership Down and took The Stand.

Books transported. Books fired the imagination. Books sparked emotions. When they ended, left me bereft. Until the next one. My library card was wrinkled and the Librarians knew me. The card catalog was my friend. The marble entry was cool and the quietness was soothing and the orderliness of an entire world of worlds was cataloged and organized.

Sad that adulthood brings the gorging to a slow trickle. Sad that aging eyes can’t focus for as long as they used to. But the books are there. Riding history with Miss Jane Pittman or enjoying a Nantucket Sleigh Ride with Moby Dick or learning The Body Dynamic and seeing Hearts on Fire…books are still good, they are still there. And when they are there, I am not here.
books

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Movie Review: Autistic Driving School

Autistic Driving School is a 2010 one-hour documentary on Netflix (and perhaps other places too) highlighting Julia Malkin’s founding of a UK driving school that caters to teaching autistic people how to drive. Malkin is autistic herself.

With a driving license comes freedom, something most people want. For autistic teens and young adults however, the challenges of learning to drive safely can seem insurmountable, especially if receiving an instructor with no knowledge of how to teach to their special needs. As was stated in the movie, Autistic people are literal, so there’s no saying ‘take the next left’ because they’re likely to wind up in someone’s garden. Some autistic people do not take instruction or correction well. While some can become excessively distracted, following anything and everything that interests them like a rabbit, others hardly notice anything around them, both of which are a problem when driving. The possibility of becoming overwhelmed and having a meltdown while driving is real. And more.

In comes Julia Malkin.

A woman with autism herself, Julia suffered through years of bullying in school, attempted suicide twice, one at age 16 and another at age 18, suffered through a nervous breakdown at 18, and lived as an adult by subsisting on dead end jobs…until….

Her diagnosis at age 40.

Since then, following her diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, Julia started up Excel Driver and Instructor Academy, which expanded rapidly and now helps people with autism learn to drive, provides education support and offers counselling, is still the only one of its kind in the UK.

She has achieved highest honors for her profession as the safest driver in England, earning an OBE, which is “The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry; rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the Civil Service.”

According to the information given at the link, Julia attained four degrees in six years at two separate universities between 2008 and 2015 and became a Doctor of Philosophy, and founded another course of training to train Driving Instructors to teach autistic clients. The UK National Autistic Society shortlisted her as one of three finalists for the National Autistic Society’s award for outstanding achievement by a professional with an autism spectrum disorder.

Wow.

If you listen to Julia on the documentary it’s obvious she is brilliant. She is articulate, passionate, and her powers of observation are astounding. At one point during the movie, she’d been asked to speak out loud what goes through her mind as she drives down the road…her observations of her surroundings combined with lightning fast sifting of that information was remarkable.

The documentary wasn’t about Julia directly though. With sensitivity and compassion, several youths were featured in their process of the two-pronged driving training they must go through to attain a license. There is the book test and the on the road test. Several candidates were followed. Each student spoke of the special challenges unique to autistic drivers, according to the student him or herself, or according to their parents. One young main has set a goal for himself to become a Military Transport driver, so of course passing his first license test was important. But a wrinkle to his story is that his doctor had recommended taking a certain prescription medication for his OCD, but if one is on or has ever taken such a drug, it would immediately disqualify him for ever entering the military in the UK. He had a dilemma. He decided to forego the medication, but the result was he’d have to work even harder to manage his condition while he was on the road.

A 22 year old mother had earned her licence a few years prior, but had lost her nerve to drive. Another, a set of twins, create crafts and wanted to found a business of traveling town to town to fairs and such, selling them.

They all wanted freedom and independence that a driving license would provide.

I found the documentary instructive and interesting. It was produced and edited in such a way that you pull for the students and cheer the inspiring story of Julia. With so little attention paid to adults with Autism, and with so few generally inspiring stories around, this was a documentary I’d recommend as a DON’T MISS!

This is part of the documentary, ‘Autistic Driving School’ which was broadcast on BBC3. It tells the story of Julia Malkin, the most qualified driving instructor in the UK. It shows her battle with autism and her mission of inclusion in education both inside and outside the driver training industry.

Historic Pews & Pulpits Ramble: My upcoming excursion

The Warren County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a historic church tour in eastern rural Georgia. I signed up with a friend and I’m so excited! Here is what it involves:

Georgia’s Classic South Region is hosting a historic church tour called the Historic Pews and Pulpits Ramble on June 16, 2017. The bus will depart from the Greensboro Home Depot at 9 a.m. and go through rural east Georgia. There will be seven stops along the way to tour historic churches tucked away but not forgotten. Not only will you get to go inside the churches and hear about their humble beginnings, you’ll be inspired by songs and words from some of the chancels and pulpits.

At each stop there will be a 30-minute presentation of the history of the church, the area, and some hymns. The Sacred Harp Singers of Atlanta will be part of the presentation at Wrightsboro Methodist Church!

Here are the 7 churches we will be visiting on the Heritage Tour:

Mount Zion Presbyterian Church, Sparta
Powelton Methodist Church Sparta
Antioch Baptist Church, Crawfordville
Wrightsboro Methodist Church, Thomson
Barnett Methodist Church, Norwood
Locust Grove Catholic Church, Crawfordville
Penfield Baptist Church, Union Point

Some of the churches are two hundred years old…the one with the towers was built by freed slaves…some are still in use, others in disrepair…it’s exciting and interesting. I’ve never been to this part of Georgia so it all will be new.

The tour goes from 9-3 on a Friday in mid-June. There will be lots and lots of photo opportunities the write-up says and I can see that this is true. I will need to bring lots of batteries for my camera!

I haven’t gone on a tour or excursion in almost ten years, so I’m very excited for this. Pray for good weather on June 16!

Information about Harp Singing, AKA Shape Note Singing, this historic form of singing hymns unique to the south (though it flowered briefly in New England prior to the Revolutionary War, it died out and was revived down south). Here are a few photos I took of a Harp Singing in Athens at the Botanical Gardens from 2007,

Yippee!

Lunch on a budget: Spicy Shrimp Sandwich with Chipotle Avocado Mayonnaise

Today is payday so today is grocery shopping day. Yay. I enjoy shopping because everything about Kroger makes the experience pleasurable.

For really busy shoppers, or shoppers who hate shopping, Kroger has unrolled a special service called ClickList. You go online and create a list of purchases you want and type an hour-range of time to pick up. When you arrive, the clerk puts your groceries in the car and you pay right there, too.

I have not used ClickList myself but friends who have really love it. It beats dragging around your kids throughout the entire store. Or dragging yourself around the store for that matter.

But going in is OK for me. The clerks are friendly and helpful. They know where stuff is. The sales are great. The markdowns make obtaining lots of fresh produce and seafood attainable on a budget. The quality of the food is always good. It is a big store, that is a drawback, but if I restrict myself to the areas I usually frequent then I can get in and out efficiently and stick to my budget.

Here is the lunch I prepared after arriving home from the store. It is Spicy Shrimp Sandwich with Chipotle Avocado Mayonnaise, ruffled potato chips, and sweet cole slaw. Dessert, strawberries and nectarines with organic strawberry yogurt on top. Sound too expensive for a frugal summer lunch? It’s not. Read on!

Kroger offers skewers of five medium (de-veined) shrimp for $1.00. I like the fact that they are de-veined already, and they only take 3-4 minutes to cook. This is good on a summer day in Georgia. Any protein I can purchase that’s $1 or less per serving is a go.

Red leaf lettuce was on sale this week, $.99 per head. Potato chips were on sale, $1.50 for a large bag. Kroger usually has bags on sale of prepared cole slaw (just add mayo) for $1. The bun you can’t see it; it’s under the lettuce) was on the reduced rack. A bag of 6 kaiser rolls was marked down to $.99, so 20 cents per bun.

The store puts some items from produce in a red net bag on a special shelf. The items are almost always nearly perfect, but whatever is in the bag is 99 cents. I’d bought a red net bag of 5 avocados for 99 cents, so the avocado was only 20 cents. A couple of avocados in the bag were ready but could be eaten tomorrow and one or two were really soft, so I chose a really soft one to make the spicy mayo spread. Including some strawberries I’d had for dessert, my lunch cost around $2.

I didn’t know I was going to make this lunch when I went into the store. It is usually more expensive to decide ahead of time what you’re going to eat and then going to the store to buy the individual ingredients for your selected dish. What I do is look at the weekly sale flyer and I scout around in the store for unadvertised markdowns, and purchase whatever they have available. This method works well if you do not have a family, I admit.

I usually buy the shrimp because it is a good protein for a good price. As mentioned, lettuce was on sale, and an unadvertised markdown was the bag of kaiser rolls at the reduced bread area, as well as the bag of avocados in the unadvertised produce area. I found a large container of organic yogurt marked half price.

A produce clerk was stocking the mark down shelf when I got there. I thanked her for putting what to me are good produce items (non squashed, or otherwise nearly perfect) in the red bags for us. She said that it really helps Kroger too. “We hardly ever have anything we throw away,” she said. This was great news to me. Win-win. I also bought 2 lb of yellow squash, a bag of oranges that I’ll cut up for fruit salad, brussels sprouts, and some orange peppers. Good stuff.

After I got home I decided one of the avocados needed eating right away. I didn’t want to let the shrimp go another day or so. I’d already taken a long time in the store and a hot drive home without refrigerating them so I wanted to cook and eat immediately. Hmmm. I briefly considered “shrimp and grits” as I’d bought a box of instant grits, but in the end I went with the sandwich. I googled ‘shrimp-avocado sandwich’ and voila, the above recipe came up. I had the olive oil and the spices on hand already. I did not have the chipotle spice, so I just substituted Sriracha.

Summer Fun Plans

I love when summer comes around!!!

I’m a teacher’s aide in a public elementary school and that means I have several school breaks during the year … and … wait for it … summers off. Now, I’m not paid for those breaks, I’m paid for working 190 days per 365 days/year and that’s it. So I enjoy the time more than the money, obviously! 🙂

So exciting. I’ve got plans. Oh yeah. Tuesday at noon the kids leave. When this Friday rolls around and the afternoon dismissal bell rings, I’m done. There are several things I plan to do this summer.

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MUSIC

I discovered that my streaming music station, Pandora, has a new thing called Thumbprint Radio. I had no clue, until I scrolled down my ‘stations’ list and saw it at the bottom. “What’s this?” I asked myself. Oh-ho, this is cool. Pandora is streaming entertainment based on a music genome. You can choose a station, such as “Traditional Hymns” or “Jimmy Buffett Radio” and they’ll play songs along those lines. Within the genre you might like this song or not like that one. You have the option to thumbs up or thumbs down a song, and Pandora will adjust your listening to what you like. If a song had more violin and less trumpet, or more harmony and less melody, they will present songs in that station with that selection in mind according to your thumbs up.

Thumbprint Radio is a station where all your liked songs go into one station! Though Pandora is free, I choose to pay $4.99/month for Pandora Pro which has no ads. So what this means is that I have access to music with a huge variety of songs that I already like and never interrupts itself for an ad or a DJ. I love it madly. I will be listening to a lot of music. Some of my stations I love are:

100 Hymns Instrumental Radio
Jimmy Buffett Radio (includes balladeers from the 70s like Paul Simon and James Taylor)
Gaither Vocal Band Radio
Mozart Radio
Hank Williams Radio (classic country)

and many more. Yay.

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BOOKS

I have some books stacked up. I want to read or finish-

12 Ways your iPhone is changing you by Tony Reinke
Son, a literary western by Phillipp Meyer
Hearts of Fire, by Voice of the Martyrs
Veronica Mars- the Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas
The Autobiography of Hudson Taylor: Missionary to China (Kindle)
Bright Side by Kim Holden (Kindle)
The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes (Kindle)

Plus a lot of “summer easy reading” eBooks I’ve downloaded from BookBub recommendations. At BookBub, you select which reading genres you enjoy, and thankfully there are a lot to choose from, and BookBub sends you a daily list of digital selections based on your preferences. You can download according to your desire, budget, and amount of space on your reading device! I choose the free ones but they also have eBooks for 99 cents, $1.99 and up. They tie-in to Amazon’s Kindle store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, Apple’s iBooks, and others.

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CRAFTS

My friend Kim on Facebook sent me some photos from Gay Halseth-Frayed and Twisted’s FB page. They’re vintage spine bookmarks. Cool! I won’t embroider like Mrs Halseth has, but I’ll paint them.

And just where will I be finding vintage books? We have several places in the county where I look forward to shopping this summer. There are three in particular, and two of those I have never been to before. I like my usual haunt of Second Time Around. I have already found antique books of Swedish poetry, an old Methodist Hymnal and an old Baptist Hymnnal at that store, all for $1 each.

The other store is called Neat Pieces Antiques, which I’ve driven by but never entered. He has three buildings and a large outdoor area. He sells heritage pine, architectural items from old barn stairs to glass doorknobs, and inside, vintage clothing, antiques, and of course the books.

Well! I believe I’ll be able to find some books here for sure! Befoe you faint from horror, I’ll look for water damaged, moldy books that otherwise would not ever find a home and are one step away from a trash can. I don’t like the idea of taking apart a perfectly good book just to get at the spine.

The third vintage store I’m planning to visit is called simply The Special Store. This place has lots of glassware among other items like furniture. I need an English porcelain or bone china teapot, and one more cup and saucer. This will be the place to find them.

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PHOTOS

Now that I have an automobile with AC, I can drive around this summer. I like to go out in the Golden Hour, just at and 1 hour after dawn, and 1 hour before sunset, taking photos. I downloaded the manual for my now 1-year-old Nikon and I’ve been experimenting with some of the fancier settings now that I’m familiar with the camera and its superficial capabilities. It will be a photo extravaganza! I also began using my rechargeable batteries now that I’ve finally gone through all the high-capacity alkaline ones I’d bought. I can recharge to my heart’s content, even in the car, since it comes with an automobile charger too.

In addition to Flickr and Facebook, I also have an account at Unsplash to upload my photos, and also Instagram now that I figured that one out. I want to compose better, and post-process better. Summer is the time to play with pictures and try and get better at photography.

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MOVIES

Of course, movies and shows. On Amazon Prime I watched a nice movie called Mao’s Last Dancer, the true story of Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin. I like movies like that and will seek out some more either on Snagfilms, Crackle, or Amazon Prime, and of course whatever I can absorb for free on Youtube.

I’ll finish some classes I’d started, including “Understanding the Tabernacle”, and “Principles of Biblical Interpretation”. A new class at Ligonier called “Loved by God” has sparked my interest too. So, studying the Bible through classes and reading and studying it directly is on the summer fun menu.

Some friends have asked me to lunch, and in June I’ll go to a wedding. That’s pretty much it. We get out of school May 26 and begin again July 31. I’ll also be taking a class for school sometime in July, so it’s really not ALL that much time off as one remembers from childhood. But I’ll take it!

Three Scandinavian movies worth watching

If you like foreign films there are a few coming out of the Scandinavian nations that I’ve enjoyed so much.

The Wave

Topping the list for quality production values is Norway’s entry to the Academy Awards for best foreign film, The Wave. Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus reached 8% approval rating, and the comment: “Well-acted and blessed with a refreshingly humanistic focus, The Wave is a disaster film that makes uncommonly smart use of disaster film clichĂ©s.”

Based on true information about quakes and fjords and tsunamis in the region, we read

Nestled in Norway’s Sunnmøre region, Geiranger is one of the most spectacular tourist draws on the planet. With the mountain Ă…kerneset overlooking the village – and constantly threatening to collapse into the fjord – it is also a place where cataclysm could strike at any moment. After putting in several years at Geiranger’s warning center, geologist Kristian is moving on to a prestigious gig with an oil company. But the very day he’s about to drive his family to their new life in the city, Kristian senses something isn’t right. The substrata are shifting. No one wants to believe that this could be the big one, especially with tourist season at its peak, but when that mountain begins to crumble, every soul in Geiranger has ten minutes to get to high ground before a tsunami hits, consuming everything in its path.

Wikipedia’s summary:

A Norwegian geologist (Kristoffer Joner) and his family (Ane Dahl Torp, Jonas Hoff Oftebro) fight for survival when a massive landslide causes a 250-foot tidal wave.

It was gripping and realistic and tense without being over-the-top ridiculously stressful or gory. The LA Times wrote, “Norway’s ‘The Wave’ shows Hollywood how to make a disaster film with real thrills.”

Recommended! On Netflix. In Norwegian with subtitles. In watching it thought about the Alaskan tsunami in the 1960s when a part of the mountain collapsed and the displaced water rushed to shore. It’s happened before. It will again, Revelation 6:14.

A Man Called Ove

This entry from 2016 is from Sweden-
Rotten Tomatoes’ Critics Consensus:

A Man Called Ove’s winsome sincerity — and Rolf LassgĂĄrd’s affectingly flinty performance in the title role — keep it from succumbing to excess sentimentality. Stepping from the pages of Fredrik Backman’s international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove’s past happiness and heartbreaks. What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it’s shared.

Though religion or faith is not mentioned, what I took from it is how to love people, even the unlovable, and how much of a difference that committed persevering love makes. In Swedish with English subtitles. On Amazon Prime and maybe elsewhere.

On Youtube is a one-hour documentary called Hugo and Rosa, another Swedish movie, this one is a documentary released in 2002. The director Bengt Jägerskog visited aged siblings Hugo and Rosa for ten years, the last ten years of their extraordinarily long life. When we meet, Hugo is nearly 100 and Rosa is 96.

Finlander summarizes the documentary this way-

“Hugo is approaching 100 and his sister Rose is 96. In their little red house in the Swedish countryside they live in the same way as people there lived 100 years ago. “The trick is in staying happy,” the always elegant Rosa confides to the filmmakers. In addition to cooking and caring for the household, she also sometimes plays the accordion. And when a sparkling Hugo with his amusing tales is chopping wood and digging in the garden, it appears as if nothing can disturb the idyllic life of the siblings. The march of time, however, is relentless, and after Hugo’s health complications, both find themselves in a retirement home. Even here they do not lose their remarkable optimism about life, their good mood, or their ability to take a humorous and detached view of the ailments associated with their age. A discreet camera follows Rosa and Hugo up to the final climax of their long life’s pilgrimage.”

What we discover early in the film is that their unique worldview is due to their faith. From my research, and what I can surmise, they belonged to an evangelical Lutheran church all their lives. Hugo taught Sunday School for many, many years, at one time, his class held 40 students. “It was a lot,” he said with a twinkle. Even in their last year of life, an entire service was held by them, with Hugo speaking and Rosa playing the accordion. They sing hymns, look forward to and speak of heaven, and have a placid and rock-solid assurance of reuniting with their Lord, whom they identify as their Lord, and with their 7 other siblings who have passed on before them.

I noticed at the outset, Rosa’s face. It was lit from within with calm serenity and joy. As the documentary progresses, the reason for her serene joy is made evident- it’s faith. Hugo also. It is a simple documentary, the director allowing the brother and sister speak for themselves, as well as his juxtaposed film shots space to be interpreted by the viewer.

What the documentary made me think of are all the Christians that have lived in obscure corners of the world, planting and marrying and living and dying, and passed on to eternity. I can’t wait to meet them. There are so many saved people I will look forward to meeting when we all get there. Hugo and Rosa’s life was simple. Hugo was born in 1900 in a simple farmhouse with no running water or electricity, and it stayed that way for almost their entire lives. They got electricity the last months of their lives. For one-hundred years they worked hard, chopped wood, milked cows, shoveled snow, planted fields…and loved it all because they loved the life the Lord gave them.

If you want some sweet movies or a good action movie, these are it. Note: The Wave is rated R for action disaster scenes and some language.

I’m not going to stress about people in street photography

I’ve written two other times about street photography. That is the kind of photography where photographers take candid pics of people on the street, usually in B&W but more often in color too. Sometimes the street people know they’ve been captured and other times they don’t. Sometimes the street photographers get very up close and personal, and other times, they don’t. There are as many ways to “do” street photography as there are photographers to do it.

The idea is to chronicle life. Street photos from photographers who were active in the in the 50s and 60s took some amazing photos that in all likelihood looked mundane then but are absolutely fascinating now. The famous names are Garry Winogrand, Bill Cunningham, Jon Naar, and many more.

Garry Winogrand
Garry Winogrand
Jon Naar, Faith of Graffiti
Bill Cunningham

Street photography is both profound and absurd. The first photo, with the old women walking…by the trash…with a small, lone weird animal at the bottom. Profound and absurd. The highly graffitied wall…with derelict abandoned car…with joyful kids. Profound and absurd. And Editta Sherman in the subway…dressed out of time…with graffiti – profound and absurd.

I find street photography to be more profound as the photos fade from “nowadays” into “historical.” I like street pics from the 50s and 60s and early 70s more than today’s. It’s the history that grabs the viewer, makes us go ‘awww’, or long for times gone by in looking at places we used to know.

I just don’t like dealing with people when I take pics. I’ve read up on and viewed videos that offer tips on how to take good street shots with people in them. I’ve read tips on how to defuse a situation where a concerned or angry subject approaches you. I’ve read up on how to ‘hide’ what you’re doing so as not to anger the subject. All good. I just don’t want aggravation when I take pics. It’s supposed to be relaxing. So I tend not to deal with people. I like architectural details better anyway. Skylines. Colors. Patterns. Grit.

There’s always a story behind everything. I like this photograph a lot!

Atlas Obscura has the story to this charming bit of London history:

The wrought iron hook hanging next to No. 4 goes back to the early days of automobile traffic. The building sits just off the corner of a chaotic six-street convergence, and even with the guidance of traffic lights drivers didn’t always trust the signals. So the police were assigned to step in now and then, to keep things moving, and if it happened to be a hot summer day they needed a place to hang their heavy woolen coats. Since No. 4 was under construction there was a handy nail to do the trick, but once construction was completed, the nail disappeared.

The makeshift hook may have been gone, but the traffic wasn’t, so the police asked for the nail to be put back. They got this instead: a sturdy bespoke model, clearly labeled so everyone knew who it was for.

Everybody go ‘awwww’!

There’s always the hope that as you scout, scavenge, and hunt up photo opps in the back alleys and trash heaps, you might make a cool architectural discovery like this one. Again, Atlas Obscura

In 2011, while the REI store in the Puck Building in Manhattan’s SoHo district was undergoing renovation, workers made an unexpected discovery. Hidden behind one of the walls of the cellar were more than 100 lithography stones from the building’s days as a printer. They are now on display on the store’s lower floor.

In 1917 in Halifax Nova Scotia, a munitions ship anchored in the harbor blew up. It was a huge and devastating event. As the Atlas Obscura story excerpt below notes, the explosion was the largest man-made explosion ever before the atom bomb. As you walk along the now quiet streets, you might look up and see a strange architectural detail. What is the face etched in the window? (And why didn’t the window shatter?)

The 1917 explosion caused when a munitions ship crashed was a defining moment for Halifax. It was a tragic and disastrous event, that also stemmed generations of folklore, like babies who survived flight through the air by landing in trees. Many of these are too fanciful to be true, but St. Paul’s Church, the oldest building in town, bears the scars to prove its incredible tales.

We used to visit older friends in Halifax in the late 1990s. Our friend who was in his 60s had a mom who was in her late 90s. She was 17 years old when the explosion happened. It was hard to get her to speak about it (no doubt the trauma of losing friends and homes made her reticent to relive it all again). We asked her what it was like to live through the most devastating man-made explosion in the world ever at that time. In typical northern taciturn manner, she said after a long pause, “Well…it was loud.”

When I do street pics, I gravitate to the buildings, not the people. I like to know the story of why this hook is there, or what that face is about, or what these curious stones with backward writing on them are. I like to see the color amid the concrete, the beauty among the grit. If someone walks by as I’m taking the shot, great, there’ll be a person in it. If not, then I’ll still be content with my street pics, sans life. I know that people in a pic make it more interesting, not to mention alive. But oh well. I like what I like and I’ll do what I want! Street photography minus the people… just the street, thanks. Besides, I looked through my photos and I’ve been taking street pics all along. Not great ones, not profound or absurd. Just…life.