Monday, May 11, 2009

Nothing significant to write about tonight . . .

. . . so I thought I'd throw up this nice picture of me as a young boy fishing in my old neighbor's pond.

I've recently made this picture my work laptop wallpaper. And as I'm working, I'll minimize screens and move things around and wham! I'll be confronted with my four/five (??) year-old self trying to catch the small brim fish that swam around in the Beaumont's pond.

I love to sit and look at this picture sometimes. First of all . . . you've got to love those awesome '70s pants. Only in that decade could people (other than firemen) pull off that particular shade of pant in a regular, public setting.

Next, how do you like them sideburns? I'm definitely working a pre-adolescent muttonchop. And I'm surprised at how well I'm pulling it off. Way to go Little David!

I also find myself trying to remember how long my fishing line is, because it seems that I'm standing about three feet from the pond's edge. Never having been a natural athlete, I can only assume that my brothers or dad cast the line for me so I could get my hook out past the edge's weeds and out to where the fish actually were. And I'm guessing that it was Dad who was there, as I'm pretty sure he took the picture. You can see the photographer's shadow along the grass stretching out into the background.

The lighting of the photo is great also. It makes me think of a spring evening, when it wasn't very hot and the sun was on its way down. In my mind I can hear the cicadas, the frogs, the birds making their early evening sounds all around the pond. You could almost hope to catch a slightly cool breeze coming across the water.

Directly behind my head you can see the basketball goal that was the site of so many games of Around the World and random one-on-one basketball games. The Beaumont's car had many a basketball bounce off their fender or door panel over the many years that we lived across from each other.

Across the pond, beyond the extended fishing pole, you can see my childhood home's front yard. I can't see it in the picture, but I can image the large azalea bushes that served as the backdrop for so many Easter Sunday pictures. There are all the pine trees, the pine straw beds, and the dogwoods that grew on the edge of the yard, by the mailbox, where Dad always parked his company car at the end of the Dead End. (You can see the blurry shape of that year's model behind the trees about halfway up the fishing pole.)

As Dad would tell you, not much of this pretty scene remains anymore. The pond is still there and some of the Beaumonts still live across the street. But my childhood home is barely recognizable anymore. All of the bushes, plants, trees, and improvements that Dad made to that house and yard are overrun with neglect and who knows what now. We moved out of that house when I was approaching my senior year in high school and Dad had a new yard to work on. (And, as usual, he's done plenty to make his current yard pretty over the last twenty years.) But there isn't a pond next door and no shots of my kids fishing during a trip home.

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