I was thumbing through the catalog… I shoot flags when they present. I shoot bridges – from/in the car. We do selfies. Jump? Street photography? – selling carnival food to the extreme? And then, there is always fall – the quest for the best shot (Maine, beside a bank, a real bank, not one by the river.)
One thing leads to another. I had the girls jump. They really were thrilled to pose and to jump. They did it for a long time never seeming to tire of posing. Okay!! And the bee sting kiss? Jen spoke about the young girls doing this pose as the latest craze in phone pics. And then, she and Mike showed me. My handy dandy camera was right at hand! Yay!
plural noun: Americana
- things associated with the culture and history of America
Today is Americana. Flags, concerts, roadside signs, and kitsch. I certainly don’t know whether the American flag is a symbol of patriotism or of conservative Republican politics anymore. Rebel flags symbolize the Civil War never ended. White supremacy? Political signs assiduously avoid party affiliation in an attempt to build name recognition. When did that happen? And then there is just plain kitsch. The chicken at Royal Farms symbolizes its roots as a chicken farm and restaurant.
Blue tint, out my car window; I could correct it. But, nah! “See the USA in your Chevrolet… la da da, da da, da da, da da da….”
Time has passed. 9/11 was more than 20 years ago. I remember the morning in New York City vividly. I was in my kitchen looking south toward the WTC and saw smoke rising. Soon enough the tragedy of the day unfolded as I shot slides from my rooftop as the buildings collapsed. I waited in disbelief as I waited for the buildings to reappear from the smoke. No building so massive could simply collapse. I am heartsick to this day.
Last year? Indian powwow. We attended. Had I forgotten 9/11? We were reminded amid the pomp and pageantry. A flag on a fire truck flew over the venue in tribute to the day and those we lost but have not forgotten.
Pearl Harbor happened before I was born. For many years in my childhood, the day was remembered. Memories fade. The remembrance of “infamy” is not so vivid nor talked about any longer. I wonder. Primary memory: I was there. Or? Collective sadness: it happened and great loss occurred.
9/11 – it was clear blue sky day, then and now.
You are out all day and nothing particulars stands out. Later on, you peruse the shots you took and there are a few that … well, good. I knew we were coming back on the same road… Luckily, the pictures were still there waiting. And then, you find stuff, you were not expecting. Of course. It’s not perfect but….
On 9/11 this year, we found ourselves at an Indian powwow. Symbolically? Symbolically, a flag had been raised over the venue – hanging six stories up from a hook and ladder fire truck. We remember…. Pageantry was mixed in with somber remembrance. I shot 3000 images that day. (Hmmm, another symbolic number.) Whoa! What an edit! Why? Photo ops were everywhere. I was not always in a good position to shoot what I wanted. I made do. The venue was loose and the crowd did not stay glued to their seats. I moved about with some freedom to get the shots I wanted. I listened to a photographer, a retiree now, describe how he shot in RAW and post processed in Lightroom, to a woman who did not know what RAW was and who had proudly proclaimed she just found her camera yesterday to shoot images of her grandchild. Disconnected?
In this case I did a rough edit randomly gathering a few representative images to illustrate the day. There was joy and movement. The regalia was colorful and symbolic. Kids and adults participated. No sunglasses please, I was trying for authenticity. Surprisingly, there was a lot of plastic in the costumes I saw. I had not attended a powwow since 2014. It was nice to see another once more with Colleen. The price? … dinner out.
World Trade Center 2000, the millennium, we (Lisa and I) visited the Battery and went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We saw the names of our forebears who came to this country as immigrants.
2001, a crystal clear blue sky autumn day, 9/11 stands out so clearly. This is the view (my pictures) from my kitchen window. Yeah, I was close, not quite there, but close. The images are searing. When the first tower fell I was on the phone with Vicki. She told me, what my own eyes could not believe. The first tower had collapsed. From this perspective the towers appear next to each other and I thought the flames had jumped across from one building to the other. I could not fathom another plane hitting the other tower. I was fully confident in NYFD to put out a fire. I had seen them do it with my own eyes before. The towers were shrouded in smoke and steam from the dousing water and would reappear when the smoke clears. i waited in vain all day. The smoke never cleared and the buildings were gone – forever.
Twenty years later, I still have a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach thinking of the profound loss. Another generation has grown up to see the pictures, and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We extracted a pound political pound of flesh for the heinous damage. Bin Laden died. Little has changed. The world is not a better place. It is not safer. Extremism, especially in politics is worse. We are less united. And, we are still dumb. The recent drone attack in retaliation for suicide bombing at the Afghan airport appears to have hit bogus terrorists. Pound the shit out of something to make us feel strong! History repeats. Will we ever learn? Lie to me, baby – again. I take no pride in saying I was “there.”
Déjà vu. I try to remember 9/11. Here we are. It’s a round circle. (is there any other kind?) From NYC and WTC to Afghan and back. We got our butts kicked once more. With gusto. History repeats. In the end, we!! gave arms to the Taliban. They will cherish them and “buy” our ammo. Was that the plan? Meanwhile, we donated, no gave away, a trillions dollars (with a “T”)! I guess you cannot make the same mistake twice? Afghan’s chief export is poppies.
I was housebound and determined to have an adventure. So? Antiques! Nope. Everything is closed around here on Monday. The (poor pitiful) mangy cat awaited in front of one antique place (closed). A VIP funeral went by with a fancy glass hearst and a long parade of trailing vehicles. So famous… we could not find mention in any internet listing. Travel took us to the towns of Milford and Wyoming. Oh yeah! There’s a giant bee, much larger than the usual. It does not look like a carpenter bee. The other large bee listed is from Indonesia, nope, not that one either. ?? Dunno. My passion flower survived Barb! And Nutley? … just too cute for his own good! Gee, he makes me look like a good photographer.
We don’t. We don’t July 4th. Not much anymore. I have mixed feeling, since living in Saudi and having gone thru the Trump years. For us the flag is now associated with the conservative “big lie” Republicans. Sure enough, we ran into a bunch in our conservative town on this day back years ago. Frankly, it’s sickening. Rah rah. Democracy is demonized and the flag never felt more like the connotation of “love it or leave it.” I don’t feel much like a part of that “gang.” When did America stop opening its arms to the “tired, poor, and huddled masses? It’s just so hard to cling to any hope. Colleen is an optimist. She will never give up believing in “good.” I will do so because she is my hope.
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep….
Jump to Lyrics — Turn! Turn! Turn!”, or “Turn! Turn! Turn is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s and first recorded in 1959. The lyrics – except for …
Ecclesiastes 3 is its biblical reference quoted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi shortly after the Capitol was attacked in January.
It’s near cherry blossom time in Washington, DC. We celebrate both proudly and not. The cherry trees were a gift from Japan in 1912, mere decades before Pearl Harbor. Only recently The African American Museum was opened and recounts the shame of slaves. It’s only a mere 400 years since slavery began in America. The contemplative waterfall within the museum is healing. And in a small display case within is a ship model demonstrating how the slaves – humans!! – were transported stacked and lined side by side within a ship’s hold. A certain percentage loss (of life) was calculated as spoilage during the trip. Stacked like cords of wood! Horrifying? Yes, our history is not always a proud one. Recently, a mob stormed the gates of the Capitol. Terrorists attacked our nation’s capital.
Contemplate: we are a nation with a complex history with a mistaken belief in manifest destiny:
“What was Manifest Destiny? Propounded during the second half of the 19th century, the concept of Manifest Destiny held that it was the divinely ordained right of the United States to expand its borders to the Pacific Ocean and beyond.Nov 18, 2020…”
It has always been easy to distinguish between good and evil; truth and lies. NOT! We do our best. Or, we do not. Largely, I would tend to “follow the money.”
“A popular current text, the King James Version shows 1 Timothy 6:10 to be: For the love of money is the root of all of evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” – the Apostle Paul.
There is no honor in what has recently occurred. There are those among us who would subvert the will of the majority. There is much to contemplate in the good and the evil that presently swirls. Lies, truth, spin, turn, each of us must contemplate and then vote peacefully. Free elections are a bedrock of our democracy. Do not let men with guns and loud voices take that away. Liken them to Al quaeda and the Taliban; they have tried. They will not succeed.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind but now I see…..
Look it up… our fearless leader is golfing.
Flags are displayed all around. I was struck by the flag on the construction equipment. Was it a political statement or a symbolic salute to the holiday? Things have changed. I feel suspicious of a statement with which I do not agree. Perhaps I am being too sensitive. Or not. It is a symbol and sign of the times we are in.
There’s a plastic beer cup in the corner. The tableaux is on a fashionable street in Georgetown. Peering into the grassless backyard there is a grill and more empties lying on the ground. It’s nice to see an equal opportunity drinking establishment. For a while there every other post was cats. I was cooped up too long this winter. I’m getting out again. That’s good for you all too.
Is that a flag on your hat? You need it to be patriotic? Or, are you more a patriot than the rest of us? Somehow, Bud goes with it too. Somehow, I think you might be Republican too. Too trite? Too much of a caricature? I realize it’s not fair to judge a book by its cover. But am I wrong?
It’s cherry blossom time. The Washington Monument makes the perfect foil. You cannot miss this icon and everyone knows where you are. Flags blowing in a stiff breeze make for a striking graphic. Once again, vertical vs horizontal (composition)? Shoot both. Ha! But then you gotta choose. Luckily I can show you both.
Meanwhile it’s also cherry blossom time. The Washington monument is a giveaway of the location. And of course I want everyone to know I was there for this showing.
Hanging rock. Till it’s not. Some of it once fell and crushed a mail truck – just the truck, the driver was not in it. Lucky! It’s rural W Va. Okay! It’s like Maine or anywhere quaint. It was a wet day. It seems all spring it’s been wet and cold and rainy. Oh! We made it past hanging rock without any falling rock – on our heads.
Wild turkeys – ain’t seen none since I lived in Maine. The mailbox reminds me of Haiti. The American flag? It’s W VA and patriotic. Republican? Hmmm… hard to say.
It was the title of an old Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn movie. Better not to see it. I can’t bear to watch it again. Funny, it doesn’t show up much on cable TV either. Nice shot taken while I waited at the traffic light. It works for me. Symbolism, there’s got to be a deeper meaning somewhere here?
According to an editorial in the NYT, James is the most unpopular president residing at eh bottom of the popularity list for the past 150 years. His supporters are ecstatic. donnie may take his spot. How can that be!? I like it when I’m around to see someone break records. Did I spell his name right?
I shoot images of the American flag when I come across them. Recently there were a series of patriotic shots in a row. Nice. Yay team! Lately, I’ve wondered which team and whether I support the coach. Sorry, no. Boo, coach!
Well, it is the FBI – J Edgar Hoover – building. The flags make a nice graphic. There are concrete barriers in front. I’m not sure it’s wise to consider crashing the building.
Anywhere you look the American flag waves. This was DOJ. If you need to ask then you don’t need to know.
The world’s tallest flagpole has a very large flag.
The flagpole is 170 meters high, breaking the previous record held by Dushanbe Flagpole in Tajikistan, which is 165 meters tall. Previous record holders included the 162 m (531 ft) National Flagpole in Azerbaijan, the 160 m (525 ft) Panmunjeom Flagpole of Kijŏng-dong in North Korea, and the 133 m (436 ft) Ashgabat Flagpole in Turkmenistan. The flag weighs 570 kg and is 49.5 meters long and 33 meters wide. Wikipedia
Hey, there is the world’s tallest fountain nearby too! Once in a while the flag disappears. I don’t know why. Maybe it goes for cleaning. I’d like to know where you have a washer than can handle that load. But here you are. The flag is at half-mast. I am told that the flag is never lowered unlike the USA where the flag is lowered for somber occasions. So I figure this photo is showing the flag going out for cleaning. Maybe the pigeons got it. Either way this image is not often one to capture. And as you can see I was speeding around the traffic circle with my iPhone in hand. No! I am not more crazy than the others whizzing around.
One of my ongoing projects is to shoot images of the flag. So wherever and whenever a good opportunity arises I try to get an image. This is an old house moved to this location. I know you cannot tell but I am informing you that this is the case. And the owner liked to hang a flag on the holidays. And whenever I went by with a camera I would take a picture. Simple.