True conversation in the aftermath.

Tropicana. Feb. 8, 2022. Paul Goldfinger photo. Click on the picture to enlarge.


We were away when the tornado hit on Sunday, Jan 16.  We returned on Feb 7, and the imagery is horrendous, and the photographs do not do it justice.

Yesterday we drove around and came upon the scene above. At first no one was around, so I pulled over to the side opposite the scene above. I got out of my car and was about to get my camera when a man appeared onto his front porch steps.  His home, seemingly intact, is on the right, just outside the photo.

He honed in on me immediately–he must have been watching the street.  He said, “Can I help you?” His tone was challenging.

At first I was uncertain why he asked to help me, so I said  “No thanks.”

He asked, “Why are you here?”

I didn’t answer, but I found his questions to be obnoxious, so I said, “I don’t have to account for my activities to you.”

He wasn’t angry or threatening, but I then realized that he was tense and worried that someone might walk into that mess and steal something. Maybe he was guarding the wreckages  for his neighbors.

He said that I had better not step onto that driveway.

I said that I had no plans to do that.

He then turned to go back into  his house, and I decided to tell him that “I am going to take a picture for my blog”

That was the end of that unexpected worrisome interaction, but I had come to realize how much tension was in the air at Tropicana, and that understanding was essential.”


IRA SANKEY.   This  is an original recording of a hymn “A Shelter in the Time of Storm”  The recording was made on a wax cylinder about 120 years ago in the Great Auditorium of Ocean Grove, NJ.

Recently this collection  of hymns on wax cylinders won a Grammy.