Monday, November 24, 2008

Experience - Remember - Imagine

As a young boy, I remember seeing a gun-like object on a shelf in my grandfather's garage. I asked my grandfather what it was and he told me that it was a blowtorch. I then asked him if he could show me how it worked and he replied that it was much too dangerous but he could explain to me how it worked. Through his story-telling I could see from the look on his face that he remembered well his experiences with the blowtorch and the caution and care needed to operate such a tool. He told how it used gasoline as a fuel and how the pressure in the canister was created by repeatedly lifting and pushing down the plunger located at the side of the top of the canister. Above the handle of the blowtorch was a knob which released the pressurized gasoline through the nozzle at the front of the torch. My grandfather explained that it was very tricky and dangerous to operate... to control the flame, once lit, while all the time maintaining the correct pressure in the canister. In telling me about his experience with the blowtorch, I was able to imagine how this mysterious antique had once been used.
This particular blowtorch was used by my grandfather in the 1930's and without his telling of this story, I would not have had the personal touch of a family memory. I could have researched such a device in a library or on the internet, but it would not have had the same meaning to me as when told by my grandfather. Too often, we don't take the time to stop and listen to family stories or to personal experiences told by people from another generation. That "magic" is sometimes lost forever!
I wanted to make sure that my photograph of my grandfather's blowtorch (shown above) had a name that tied the generations together. "Blow at High Dough" seemed very appropriate given the cost of gasoline. In the 1930's when this blowtorch was operational, the price of gasoline was expensive... about 20 cents a gallon. In comparison, within today's economy, that would equate to about $15 a gallon! "Blow at High Dough" may represent the foreshadowing of things to come, or things that were, but experiences are different for each generation and it is important that families and friends share the things remembered and imagine what was, and is yet to be.

Thanks for listening. Until next time...



Anonymous said...

Absolutely love this story! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This story is very captivating! I love it. You are an amazing story teller and, an amazing photgrapher. Please contintue to entertain us all with your gifts!