Monday, February 22, 2010


So this weekend there was much photography, and it was good.

I came home Friday night all restless because the light was so beautiful and I wanted to capture the glow that I saw that made the snow golden and the city gleaming.

Who's going to want to go out with me to take pictures on a Friday night? As I agonized over this, the wonderful roomie offered to come along and we drove down by Whiskey Island (which is closed right now) and I ended up shooting photos through all the barbed wire fences down there and just off the shoreway.

Then we went down to the Flats and I got a few more shots before being satisfied enough to come home and finally chill.

It's kind of crazy to think about how much of the lakefront and how much in general is fenced off. Or maybe that's where I end up. No one else seems to see it this way.

Saturday I drove down with my dad and some family to an 80th birthday party for my third cousin down in Maynard, Ohio, which is outside of St. Clairsville down on the Ohio/West Virginia border. I spent the afternoon hanging out at the local Polish National Alliance hall eating pierogi, drinking fruit punch, and catching up with my extended family, some of whom I don't remember meeting before or it's been a very long time.

My dad spent many summers down there with his brothers and cousins doing "back in the day" kind of things that people don't do now, like shooting at bottles floating down the river, blowing off M-80s and cherry bombs, going down into old mine shafts, my uncles taking them trashpicking and down to dive bars near Wheeling and all that kind of thing.

He told me stories when I was a kid about what it was like down there, and would take us down there once a year or so to visit the relatives. Some of the great-uncles would mess with us because we were clueless city people but they were so much fun, and as I've gotten older I've realized how much I take after that side of the family, with the bikers and the rusty Cadillacs in the front yard and the piano in the barn that's falling to pieces. We all have the same facial features and the weird sense of humor and a dash of eccentricity even though most of us look pretty normal.

I'm sitting there listening my dad and his cousins tell these stories about how the radio waves of WWVA was so powerful down there that you could hear Big Country News coming out of your toaster and laughing because even if they've been embellished, they're still great stories and I could hear them again and again. I got this sense of my roots that I'd never had before, like this is where I come from, and this explains so much about who I am and what I like to do.

I wanted to go out and take pictures again Sunday but no one was free. Cleaned out the kitchen and realized how much food was left over from the previous roommates, made a huge pot of lentils that will last me until we finish moving, cleaned and listened to Soundgarden and chilled with a friend of mine who stopped over to chill after work.

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