Thursday, November 29, 2007

What would have been a great xmas photo

Damn I missed it. A perfect Texas xmas photo. Walking around Hyde Park at dusk, finally a daily routine, pretty much too, my favorite way to be here. Walking feels like the right pace and scale for the arts and crafts cottages of Hyde Park. It fits the personal, idiosyncratic environment. I turn onto one of the side streets, amused by the cars, their bumper stickers, the house colors, and landscaping. I see some xmas lights on. It's an elaborate display. Then I notice, right in the middle of the front yard, standing in the front gate, the soldier in fatigues and a beret hanging the lights. Standing in his front yard (his, or his mother's, or his ex-wife's) silently completing the Christmas light display on a Wednesday in November @ 5pm. I found it intensely moving. I had my phone camera with me but was too intimidated to ask or obviously sneak it. But it's been haunting me and I'm really sorry I missed it.

1 comment:

Forrest Preece said...

Happens to me all the time. You walk away, thinking, I missed another one!

This incident you write of reminded me of a story someone else told me.

This excerpt is from a recent column of mine. I wrote this one about Pete Keim, who lives here in town now. He has the biggest collection of American flags in the world and Bergdorf's gave him all their display windows for the one year anniversary of 9/11/01.

To wit:

Long story short, Pete’s flags were indeed displayed in Bergdorf’s windows, just as he had envisioned, on September 11th, 2002. He thinks that that this was the first time in history that there was no merchandise in the Bergdorf windows with the display items. Just his flags.

Pete says that he and his son Kevin (who many west Austinites know as the Director of the Charles W. Moore Center for the Study of Place) strolled across the street to observe people’s reactions. At one point, an African-American woman stopped, stared and stood there transfixed. Then she started sobbing. An Asian woman who had been talking to her sidled over and gently put her arm around her shoulders, making a perfect tableau.

Don't know about you, but I often mentally punch in a song to go with scenes like that. For the tableau you described, a standard like "More Than You Know" would work well.

Love your blog!