Apres le Deluge Partie Deux


You must be busy, since you haven’t stopped by to gawk at the mess. The basement is more or less dried out and empty with the final move out coming on September the 3rd. Then the damage control guys move in and do the flood cut and sanitizing thing. Then hopefully I can get Petre on board to build it back. I have spoken to him, and in theory he is game, but like a lot of contractors these days he is quite busy. I have pipe guys coming to evaluate my sewer and possibly put in a shut off valve. I spoke with the city guy from SPU and it seems the city sewer was 90% blocked by a root ball and thus was the problem. My line had a small blockage but around 50% or less. So it looks like the city will be picking up the tab. Now getting them to cover the full amount may be tricky and may take awhile. My estimates to just deal with the flood part is $30 to $40k, with another maybe $6 to $10k to fix my sewer out of my pocket. Plus I don’t want just a paint and patch job in the basement. I want to do some upgrading. So I am assuming I will have to pony up some money to cover that. If the sewer fix is too pricey, I may take the risk and wing it. I would either put back cheap carpet or no carpet at all and do some groovy cement thing and make it bullet proof. I am inclined to just put the same cheap carpet I have in my studio. But I guess I can’t do anything until I know the costs and have numbers to work with. In the mean time, stuff is everywhere.
And what a lovely mess it is. And it is funny what you find apres le deluge… When the flat files were moved, I found on the floor a plastic bag of Polaroid images…thank goodness for plastic. There perfectly preserved were Polaroid 55 images, most of them the original paper, some were darkroom lith prints with the Polaroid frame glued it to, and others were “fake” 4×5 Polaroids, meaning I used a 35mm slide in the darkroom to make images that appeared to be made with a view camera. It all made me think of the days when photographers were hearty souls and and had to know their stuff. When our craft required patience and perseverance and true skill. Now it is all about apps and pushing buttons, eh?

But in the pile of Polaroids I found this little gem. A very young Richard. So long ago, not only captured with a 4×5 camera, but also with the use of artificial light. Like did I have a battery strobe? Or did I drag an extension chord to the beach? And is this the only capture? There much be a neg somewhere. And am I the only one who sees the value of this moment in time? Probably… That’s the sad reality.

I am sure there will be more such revelations in the near future.

Come see the mess, my living room now looks like yours…