Sunday, August 21, 2011

Magpie 79

It happened eighty years or so ago.
My grandfather, proudly driving his handsome 1928 Model A Ford – he was young in those days -- was paused at a stop sign in his home town.
A car pulled up alongside him, waiting at the same stoplight.

Grandad smiled and signaled “hello.” The folks in the other car smiled and responded. They could not have known how low he was in spirit.
Something had happened back in New York, down in lower Manhattan, on Wall Street. They called it the Great Crash of ’29. My grandfather’s business, the company he had founded a decade earlier, was wiped out, almost overnight. He suddenly found himself without a job.
Today, so many are experiencing what he experienced. It seems to me that there’s a song of our time that sums up how he must have felt as he waited at that stop light and regarded the smiling folks in the other car. Do you know the song?

I don't know who you are but
I’m with you,
I’m with you.

I’m looking for a place,
I’m searching for a face.
Is anybody here
I know?

Cause nothing's going right
And everything's a mess.
And no one likes to be
Alone.

I don't know who you are but
I’m with you,
I’m with you.


He had his trusty folding Kodak on the seat next to him; he grabbed it and caught a quick picture of the group in the other car, a photograph that remained hidden in an album somewhere for over eighty years.

I don’t know who you are but
I’m with you,
I’m with you.

28 comments:

Tess Kincaid said...

Life's crashes are less harsh when someone is with you.

Irish Gumbo said...

What Tess said. Good short story.

laurie kolp said...

A perfect example of how oblivious to life the young really are and how a simple smile can move mountains.

sharplittlepencil said...

Berowne, what a precious photo - an exact moment in his history, capturing the carefree kids in the next car. He must have been quite a man. Blessings, Amy
My ABC: http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/escape-can-be-forever-amy-winehouse/

Susie Clevenger said...

The human bond...joined strangers. Wonderful piece

kaykuala said...

A silver lining seemed still possible considering such odds.The Crash of '29 apparently didn't come as near to Black Monday of '87. The big names somehow recovered but not all.

Brigid said...

A lovely tale, yet sadly being repeated, but yet, there is always hope.

Sue said...

Wonderful take on this weeks image :)

izzy said...

Oh I miss my Polaroid! thanks.

Belva Rae Staples said...

Some crashes are beyond our control, but together we can soften the impact! I love the photo!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

Two different times in this piece and yet they fit seamlessly. A loop.

Carrie Burtt said...

I miss my Polaroid too....love this Berowne!!
:-)

Brian Miller said...

a very apropo tale for these days berowne...nice short, well written...

Old Ollie said...

real and lyrical

Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Well put. I'm not sure that misery always appreciates company, but it can be eased by empathy.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Berowne: Searched on Google and the lines came up Avril Lavigne (another famous Canuck!). "I'm With You" lyricsNot sure if these lines may be from an early blues song. They sound very familiar! Touching song!

Helen said...

Yes, we are all in this together ... beautifully written.

jen revved said...

So very poignant-- this photo seems to be sending waves through several psyches today...xxxj

Friko said...

I know the part about the snap couldn't possibly be true, but it doesn't matter. Today too there are many tears of despair hiding just below the surface of an everyday face.

Everyday Goddess said...

We never know what may be happening in the lives of others. A good story to remind us to be careful. Thanks.

Jackie Jordan said...

This is truly a heartfelt piece, and I'm afraid that history will repeat itself in the tremulous days ahead. To blend words with song is artistic in its own right.

Erratic Thoughts said...

Yes,I can rel;ate to this...When you are hit with a tragedy and you see strangers passing by all excited and cheery, you really feel "they have no clue about it"...*sigh*
Very heart touching Magpie...

Tattered and Lost said...

I look at my father and think of the stories I was told as a child about the Great Depression. He and my mother wanted to instill in me the value of a dollar, hard work, and saving what you could. Now at the end of his life he faces another depression. His life bookmarked by the greed of a few run amuck. One thing that will be different this time around will be how many photos are taken. Doubtful we'll ever see any shots as personal as Dorthea Lange's. Just a lot of cell phone images of people behaving badly.

Thanks for the great read.

Berowne said...

Wonderful to hear from friends like Tess K., Irish G., laurie k. and Amy -- thanks so much.

Berowne said...

Susie C.: "Wonderful piece." Carrie B.: "Love this, Berowne!" Old Ollie: "Real and lyrical." My thanks for your positive response.

Berowne said...

I'm grateful to Brian Miller, Junk Thief, chiccoreal, Helen, jen revved, E. Goddess, Friko, Jackie J., Erratic Thoughts and Tattered & Lost for such encouraging comments.

Ann Grenier said...

Touching that your story included a troubled man taking time to acknowledge others. People often build walls around themselves so they cannot see anyone.Very creative response to the prompt.

Linda said...

Throughout time there have been good times and bad times. This was a sad time for so many, and unfortunately the cycle repeats.

 
Blog designed by Blogger Boutique using Christy Skagg's "A Little Bit of That" kit.