Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012


The Rogue Speaks:

First, my Saturday Centus:

The morning sun glowed orange through the thick smoke.  Breathing was difficult, and our eyes burned.  My BFA, Diane Loving,  called and said, "Get your stuff.  We have a room at the resort."  I drove to our Hilton, where families,  displaced from the Aspen fire, were housed.

We set up our art supplies in a room off the lobby, and children and parents  came to  draw feelings about losing all they owned as Mount Lemmon burned. 

"We need some FUN stuff!" my Diane cried, as she pulled out her Origami supplies, and taught them all to make paper boxes to house their drawings.

Some of Diane's Origami Boxes

(I know Jenny said no extra photos, but this hit too close to home for me to not add some.)
That is the end of my Centus, a true story, I might add.  I have added three more photos, and a few facts.  On June 17, 2003, the Aspen fire began on Mt. Lemmon ( 9,157 feet high),  in the Santa Catalina Mountains.  It raged until the monsoon rains came on July 15.  It burned 84,750 acres, and destroyed 340 homes and businesses in the small town of Summerhaven (8,200 feet above sea level).  It was determined that the fire was human-caused.

As the fires raged, wildlife, including bears, mountain lions, and deer, escaped into the city of Tucson, searching for food and water.  When the monsoon rains finally came, the waters ran down into Tucson, and the aroyos ran black with the runoff from the charred mountain.

Taken from my back yard,
as the fire approached the valley floor

Rescuers and fighters gather while the
conflagration heightens

View from the south east side of Tucson

That's it for this week, Centusians.  I hope you enjoyed my true story.  Don't forget to read the other offerings at Jenny's blog, Off On My Tangent. If you are not a Centusian, please consider becoming one!  We'd love to have you!!!



Christine said...

wow, scary stuff, with a hint of hope, nice one

Robin said...

Tragedy does make space for community. And art gave you a vehicle to find a common language in the midst of this one. Thanks for sharing your story.

anitamombanita said...

Man, that's frightening. How cool, though, that you and your BFA thought to turn it into a moment of creative "therapy". I love that! Nicely done, Judie.

Bruce Coltin said...

Horrible and frightening, and though it may sound strange, I would like to have seen it. I feel that I can smell the smoke.

Gail said...

I hope I never experience that!

Judie said...

Bruce, we smelled the smoke every day for over a month. It was an experience I would not care to repeat.

Michelle aka Naila Moon said...

Whoa! That was a bit scary I bet! Brilliant to turn a moment of anxiety into something of calmness.
I like the boxes and I am glad you added the photos too.
~Naila Moon

rmannell said...

One of the greatest tragedies is when we see the effects of fire and flood on young children. When a three year old was asked about the recent flooding of her home, she replied, "Everything got broke."

Having fun activities to distract children from what is happening outside is a great step in helping them overcome the fear. With children happy, the parents fears are less.

As in the US, we often suffer flood and fire with fire too often deliberately or accidentally lit.

Jo said...

oh how brilliant to take art to the people .... i am such a believer that art heals, and its great therapy! Your pictures tell a horrifying story.

Susan Anderson said...

We had some fires like that when I was growing up in Southern California. Pretty humbling.

And I love that you guys comforted people with your art.


Tammy said...

Wow, how horrifying. But you really turned it into a great experience. And your pictures are beautiful. I thought one was a painting!

Vicki/Jake said...

Fire scares the hell outta me! Hmm, does that kinda go together?? Just glad you made it out of that true story:)

Magyar said...

To agree with Tammy... out of this tragic time... such grand photos; I
hope all is well with you! _m

this fire
burned into a photo
smoke roils

Magyar said...

To agree with Tammy... out of this tragic time... such grand photos; I
hope all is well with you! _m

this fire
burned into a photo
smoke roils

Ames said...

I caught my pulse starting to race. Call it an old habit. Wow! Those are some awesome pictures. We had the 1998 wildfires here. This brings back memories. ~Ames

21 Wits said...

In this case, and for what they represent, I'm sure Jenny will never think twice. I can't imagine living through anything like this. I would still have nightmares, and even though I haven't experienced it first hand, I have to believe inside your heart you are torn by staying and taking it all in, or leaving to be safe....and return's got to be like walking away from a loved one, truly it is. Not just for the things we own, but life that lives around it all....from a flower to a deer, it's got to be heartbreaking. Your post really runs deep through my veins.

artlady said...

Touching story and scary photos. Judie neglected to mention that, although the children were rapt with making origami boxes, the moment Pizza Hut showed up with free pizzas all interest in folding paper went right out the window. Little Philistines!

Unknown said...

Dear Judie,
This time I really misread the image. I understand now that it is a photograph of a terrible fire. I thought that it was a rain storm. Forgive my ignorance! I really missed this one!
I don't have a newspaper and I don't have time to look at TV or even radio news.
Thank you for setting me straight. What an interesting and informative post you have written for us.
Best wishes,

Unknown said...

Dear Judie,
As 'First Commenter' you get an extra link back here.
Best wishes,

For the benefit of other readers:
Anna's SC Wk 107 - Picture Prompt

Jenny said...

Oh Judie. I can so picture you doing this...your bright blue eyes listening and capturing the pain and fear people are feeling.

Your friend is a lovely lady, too! I'm glad you have someone that shares your artistic passion!

These fires are so frightening.

I didn't realize the one in Tucson had done quite that much damage.

Judie said...

Brown! You mean "brown eyes!"