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The first thing I thought of on Thursday morning June 14, was the garbage truck. It was squealing down the street, herky-jerky, with its bad brakes and the trashman hollering "yeoow!" after each load.
Ah. Still plenty of time to sleep.
Then I realized: Holy shit! Today's Tiny Town SHOOTATHON Day!
So, folks, the first pic of this slideshow is the ass end of Casselli's garbage truck. It took me seven shots to get one that wasn't blurred by a quaky hand and an eye full of sleepy dirt.
But Elsie was up already in Cigarette Village. Her first shot was a mailbox. Later she got a Coffee Tent. And some other things here and there.
At about 9.30 a.m., a surprise call came from my dear friend Ofer in Israel. He had no idea it was Shootathon Day. But when asked to join in, he took a screenshot of us Skyping on his computer: He'd rather that I posted a picture of his daughter Tula here, but that wasn't taken on June 14. She is cute, though (transparent obligatory comment, yes, but well meant).
Darryl had to be harassed into sending me a screenshot of himself from Spain – he didn't get why we needed something THAT DAY; but he submitted after much cajoling. If I have a doppelganger in Grouchland, there he is about 20 miles south of Barcelona.
Roger was ready for the Shootathon. A quantity of announcements had been posted on our Facebook Page and he was game. From Roger we learned of the wonderful mock orange at his Cayutaville home. There are not the hybrids that pass for said bush these days. "These are the old original Mock Orange brought here in the 1800s by early settlers," said Roger. "Nowadays they sell some other Mock Orange in the nurseries. But this has an extremely powerful perfume [that lasts] for a couple weeks as it blooms!"
Somewhere in this slideshow you will find Darryl and you will catch a few glimpses of Roger's mock orange: we regret that our scent dispenser at tinytowntimes.com is malfunctioning or we'd give you a blast of those magnificent blossoms. Throughout the slideshow you'll witness the progress on Lew's drainage ditch dug, un-plugged and covered in almost one day.
Don't ask why we chose June 14; it wasn't because it was Flag Day. We didn't know there was any significance to the date. We just wanted to play a game with our friends and visitors. To get these kinds of things done you need to set a deadline, at least. And folks love rules for their games. For those among you who do, it was in fact, Flag Day. Maybe next time we'll come up a theme – as is often done in photo groups on Flickr.com and other photography sites. But hey, to me? Seeing what we think of as right now turn into yesterday and then last Thursday, is a pretty powerful theme.
These things won't happen again the same way: Lauren going to the docks of Baltimore to capture images of children playing in water, a young girl – shy but hamming it up even so; a bullish doggins on a leash and a flank of crisply outfitted navvies from the U.S. Armada passing down the wharf.
Or Pamela in her Boston digs capturing the southwest light streaming into her apartment; common place objects that fill our homes and slices of a New England sun closing down the day. Another Boston contributor, Cliff, was all for the idea. But when the day rolled around he wasn't satisfied with his harvest. With some strong-arming he turned-over two pix he didn't seem to think were representative. Maybe not. We're not here to judge. But you see that young woman passing the giant lizard poster – the shawl almost accessorized to the reptile and the reptile giving her a predatory once-over? Or how about the young, dark-skinned woman with the lovely smile, charmed into taking a relaxed pose. I'm glad Mr. C decided these two items were with sharing: The little show is all the richer for it.
Rigel got Fungus the doggins into a few shots from Berkeley; she also made a massive batch of Flag Day guacamole for her friends and family. Check out those avocados! Yum. Further north of the Bay Area, Nancy in Portland took random to the 'hood and home (there's a Feral Cat Coalition in Portland!), while her husband, John, provided Tiny Town a handful of iconic snaps from the bustling City of Roses.
Yet further North, Leslie Mac got us some sweet pix of Whidbey Island on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington: a car ferry, a bird, a redwood, a man repairing a fence ... Sure looks nice from here, dunnit?
Then again, look no further than Danby, NY, for a nature fix of the pastoral variety: Matt captured a spanking good shot of an early Upstate summer day, where a cool night made for low lying morning clouds sweeping above rolling hills over a pasture dotted with cows, and higher still, a sky screaming to get on with the blue day.
Davey contributed an image of juvenile cats born to a feral stray who came to stay at his place in Aurora. Looks like they've taken to Dog's Plot; but they are no Olive the Weather Hen.
From Ellis Hollow Katie sent pix of her doggins and cubbises Izzy and Billie in sweet harmony; Kimberly caught some cityscapes and drive-bys in Rochester that include a curious sculpture garden; in Oneonta, Paul took a random yet pensive shot through an anchor fence where what looks like an archaeological dig is underway.
Terry worked the angles on a fire escape in downtown Ithaca playing the sharp outlines of sunlight trapped by linear figments of shadow. Just to frustrate him, we randomized his series and spread it around the show.
Annie K. gives us an idea of her work-a-day journeys into the big city of Tiny Town from Mecklenburg and up the giant Buffalo to EduCorp and back again, and also shared a shot of the Libe Slope oak many of us know so well (note the McConkey Barn in the distance – good old Jim McConkey! And the curious red striped house on Fulton Street – coming or going, that house?).
All day long and into the night Frankie14850, this blog's lead-fingered photog popped shots of local stuff all the while fretting the Shootathon would flop: too bad he werries so. It was perhaps the most beautiful day of the year by far, with temps in the 70s, clear skies and scant humidity. His own pix prove it and that should've been enough for him.
A few hundred miles south of here cousin Nancy from Pennsylvania caught the Shootathon bug and sent a batch of images including actual flags placed on the grave-sites of veterans; a field of corn under threatening skies; and, a happy shot of two dock-tailed boxers standing at the front door: Something very important was happening outside!
Joe found scads of sneakers recently liberated from electrical wires scattered on a lawn in Ithaca's Collegetown; he also noted that the bear atop the No. 9 Fire Department was feeling shy, hiding half its face behind the a mourning shroud slung in honor of someone whose name escapes us at the moment. Joe also added a shot of his dog contemplating a blanket of cottonwood fluff on the ground, as well as his own shadow study from the railings of a failed enterprise on Danby Road.
Sarah R. sent us a mysterious door opening onto a courtyard ... but what door, what courtyard and where, we do not know.
Brother Eddie contributed an image of a pair of carved animals whose shadows lend his simple picture a second life not immediately evident to the casual eye.
Late in the day Greg learned about the Shootathon via Facebook alert; Frankie14850 was crying out for some southern exposure: He and his wife complied with fresh cut slices of New Orleans: a citrus tree dripping with rainwater, a city parish walk heavy with tropical flora, a tabby cat with attitude on a lime green bedspread and a grocery where you get the sense that No Loitering is not a warning so much as a life-threatening alert.
Meryl provided some simple gifts from Fall Creek: a carved Buddha, rounded stones and pieces of clear oval glass in a woven basket, a stenciled heart on a bridge post – and the only sunset pic of the day. Alexandra thought she missed her chance to join the show because of a family commitment. Nope. While stopping to gas-up she met a darling young alpaca staring right at her from the other side of the pump. Always have your camera handy!
Amelia darn near forgot that she had committed to sending something. But just before bed time Thursday she came through with an Instagram of a cheering toddler. Yay!
JRL knew the scoop. An advocate for anything that enhances community with technology and art, he provided a sortie of random shots that include a handsome chocolate-colored ram, a birdhouse on a barn, the bottoms of two bare footsies, some rocking guitar sfx in action, and a pair of antique tractors for sale.
Veronica found out about the Shootathon a little late, but she really wanted to be part of it. That's the spirit! On Friday she provided the show with its only insect: A beautiful moth she'd found the day before perched on a curbside and with its own intricate flag folded for the time being. Thanks, Veronica.
Thanks, everybody. We hope this collection of random images, related to one another only by the hours in one given day, these things seen alone in our travels now woven together here, reinforce that sense of greater community aspired to by those of us who dabble in social media.
– Franklin Crawford, grateful administrator of tinytowntimes.com and the one who let his fingers fall where they may upon the keyboard as background for the show