Catch my drift?

By Dan Dunkle | Feb 10, 2013
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle This was the view out my side door this morning. Wesley and I were a bit outmatched, having only one snow shovel, until reinforcements arrived. First, Wesley's grandfather showed up with extra shovels. Then Kevin Haj from down the street came by with his big tractor. It's nice to be part of a community where neighbors help neighbors.

This is what I ended up seeing when I stepped out my door this morning. I do admit to loving that feeling of the sun coming out and the blue skies overhead on the day after a big storm... like the world is awakening after a long slumber.

We spent most of Saturday cowering inside the domicile. I was playing Red Dead Redemption, a video game that pretty much puts you in one of those old Clint Eastwood westerns. So I was riding on the top of a train through a desert and shooting outlaws while the wind and snow howled outside.

Friday night was less relaxing. Had just settled down on the couch when the phone rang. 'Twas Steph, the Camden Herald editor, sitting by her scanner. Structure fire in South Thomaston. So I drove down there. Up on Dublin Road, in the dip, down between the Keag and up by Brown's Road there were all kinds of fire engines parked, dealing with a trailer on fire at the top of the hill.

I parked the all-wheel drive tire burner up at Mike Florance's house, the unofficial South Thomaston bureau of The Courier-Gazette. Mike the younger (who is only slightly younger than myself) and I walked from there to the fire. It was kind of fun and kind of scary.* The weather was bad, but they had the road blocked off so I wasn't too worried about getting hit. Note to self: get reflective vests for reporting staff.

When we came over the top of the rise in the road we saw all the lights twinkling below. Looked pretty cool. Kind of hard to capture on camera. The flash would pick up the snow flakes and you couldn't see anything. Turn off the flash, you just get a smear of lights. I worked to adjust the camera settings in the pitch dark.

Not sure if the firefighters were surprised to see me or not when I got up there past all the trucks and the rivulets of water running down the road.

On the walk back to the Florances', Mike and I were talking about how it was a picture perfect scene up by the graveyard. There's a building with white lights back behind the cemetery and the light coming up through the swirling wind and snow painting the headstones as silhouettes was right out of a George Romero movie, which Mike and I have been known to watch.

They were nice enough to let me use their computer and then it was back to Rockland through the storm.

It was also nice of my neighbor, Kevin Haj, to come down and help with my driveway this morning. Community is a good thing.

*I don't mean in writing this from my point of view as a reporter to take away from the sadness and loss experienced by those who had the fire. Reporters are sympathetic to that even while we enjoy the work we do. Fortunately in this situation, no one was hurt, even though they are likely upset to have lost their home. I noticed someone made a comment that it was insensitive of me to say the fire trucks looked like Christmas lights in the darkness. I don't think that observation takes away from the empathy these people deserve. It's just a fact that that's what they looked like to me.


Wesley becomes overwhelmed by it all. Please note his Angry Bird pajamas are pulled on over other pants. We don't really send our children out into the snow half dressed. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
This was my first attempt at a photo of the fire trucks. I kind of like the effect even though you can't tell what you're looking at. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
The trouble with flash (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
(Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Feb 16, 2013 18:29

"I noticed someone made a comment that it was insensitive of me to say the fire trucks looked like Christmas lights in the darkness." Never lose your spirit, Dan, it is precious and we need it!  You're a resolver who knows how to make lemonade. :)

It is so true: "It's nice to be part of a community where neighbors help neighbors." May we never take that gift for granted.

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