Wednesday, April 13, 2005

An American portrait

Nanticoke, west along Field Street Posted by Hello

I took this photo on March 31, during the final walk of my vacation with Haley. This is actually a cropped version of the full photo (well, it's a clickable thumbnail of the cropped version), which the picture server would have scrunched down until the interesting details were illegible. (Click on the picture to see the details.)

A photo like this probably shouldn't need explanation, but I'm gonna explain anyway.

- The central image in the photo, in the far background, is a church. My church. Not the biggest church in Nanticoke, and certainly not the largest parish in Nanticoke, but it does occupy the highest point in the city. It is a little less than a mile away from where I took this photo. (This was the first time I noticed that my camera's viewfinder has a little targeting thingie in the center - and I've had this camera for about five years. I used it to center the image on and slightly above the church steeple.)

- Leading to the church is Field Street. It may look like a dirt road, but it's actually paved. Because of its location - essentially a shallow ravine - a lot of dirt tends to wash onto it in periods of heavy rain. This photo was taken from the intersection of College and Field Streets, facing west - if you ever find yourself in Nanticoke, you can go there and re-create the image yourself!

- On the left is a field with some trees, and beyond that are some houses. Field Street is the southern border of habitation for the middle part of Nanticoke, but on on the east and west ends of the city the houses continue southward for another half-mile or so.

- On the right is the cemetery that I have featured in previous entries.

- Above is the "curdled sky" that I mentioned in my March 31 entry.

I thought that this photo sort of captured the essence of small-town American life as it once existed and still does exist to a lesser extent in places like Nanticoke, with life and death centered around the parish church. It sounds corny, but there you have it - in pictorial form.

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