Thursday, February 07, 2008

Five photos I would like to have taken.

My Son’s birth.

Watching a life come in to being, with my wife cussing me and the attending physician telling bad jokes is totally awesome, groovy and out of sight. Don’t think I’ve ever had such a proud moment in all of my life.

My Son’s mother in death

I went to the hospital to take care of the paperwork, I asked if I could see her body. The attendant said she hadn’t been prepared but she would see what she could do. She lay on a gurney with a sheet up to her neck, her face was dirty and her hair was matted. She died of hypothermia in a wooded area on the edge of town. I looked down at her, “That was her body but it wasn’t her”. Later, the mortician did his best to make her lifelike…but no, it was not her, of this I am sure.

The Sixth Fleet returning from the Pacific war.

I had come home from school for lunch. Dad said, “Come on, we’re going to watch the fleet come in”. We parked on one of the approaches to the Golden Gate Bridge, along with several hundred other cars, and ran over to the guard rail. In vast array before us steaming into San Francisco Bay was one of the mightiest collection of war ships I could have ever imagined; in the center was a line of Battleships interspersed with Aircraft Carriers, flanking these were Cruisers and these by Destroyers and Submarines. It was the most awesome parade I’ve ever seen, maybe that ever was. Admiral Bull Halsey was bringing the valiant fighting ships of the Sixth Fleet home at last from the war in the pacific. Wouldn’t you know it, the next day my third grade teacher gave me hell for missing class!

The “Green Flash”

A peculiar phenomenon the takes place at the last moment of a sunset if the sky is perfectly clear to beyond the horizon. For a fraction of a second the sun turns green: Kona, Hawaii, 1971.

Death in a barrel.

I was running a rat lab for the Psychology Dept at U.C. Berkeley. Part of my job was to get rid of the animals at the end of a study. I had a dozen white rats and a dozen brown rats to get rid of. What to do?! I decided to dump them all in a barrel, toss in a chloroform soaked rag, seal the barrel and go a way for a while. I really felt bad about having to do this kind of job. Hearing the animal's frenzied scampering when the chloroform rag hit the bottom of the barrel didn’t help any. About twenty minutes later I returned and with trepidation I removed the lid of the barrel expecting to see some kind of disgusting mess. I caught my breath, I couldn’t believe what I saw, there in the bottom of the barrel was the most beautiful pattern of interwoven brown and white paisleys!

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