"History, Stephen said,
is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."
My heart continues to go out to the town of Paradise, California, as they continue to battle the raging inferno consuming the community. Almost, if not all, has been lost. It is a distinct possibility that the town of Paradise will never recover. Just cease to be a destination in Butte County, California, and that thought truly breaks my heart, because that area has a special place in my heart, especially this time of year! It is simply breathtaking in autumn, and I have been at the edge of the county many times, while traveling into Plumas, County, where I have done most of my autumn landscapes in recent years.
I don't think about fire much. It just happens to be one of my top three phobias, so avoid it as much as possible. Spiders are phobias number one and two, but fire, well, ever since I was about three years old, has been the thing I fear most. It all started one night in the middle of the summer, in 1965, when my three year old self, watched my father, and his carpool friends, save our neighbors two doors down. When he and his coworkers turned the corner onto our street, the house was already fully engulfed. Dad was the first one to run into the house.
My sister, who was a good bit older than me, held me in her arms as we watched our dad, save a whole house full of people, a whole family, one by one. I was terrified that he wouldn't come out. Or worse, would my father come out on fire? Thankfully, I never had to see that, and there was no loss of life, but I can imagine all those children who lived in the town of Paradise, and how hard this experience was and will be for them, the rest of their lives. I am praying that the community can heal, and rebuild.
I wish life didn't have to include times like this, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I am so glad that I can visit museums, like the Haggin, here in Stockton, and begin to learn not just about my new hometown, but it's rich history, and especially about it's early disaster response. Alan and I had a fascinating look, during our recent visit to the Haggin, and I will be sharing the amazing bits of other historical interests we learned about, but where else could I start this series, but with a little bit about the Stockton Fire Department's early history!
Can you believe that was the way fires were telegraphed in Stockton until 1979?!
That was the one piece of history I could have lived without seeing, but it seems the town of Stockton, did pretty good with keeping the town and surrounding rural area safe!
#55 Leaf Of The Day
November 15th, 2018
Photographed October 14th, 2018