the old pine-tree
December 24, 2009
2nd entry – christmas 2009
I headed out for the trip to northern Ontario on Wednesday with the goal of getting there Christmas Eve. (I do the trip in two shifts – Pittsburgh, Detroit/Detroit, Sault Ste Marie.) And the roads were great except once I crossed the Mackinaw, a bridge that I hate driving on, miserable winter hit and for the next 30 miles I was driving through snow blizzards and on snow-covered roads.
Once I got to my parents, the skies were grey and depressing, but I did go out and began to shoot.
The pine tree is the first thing I wanted to shoot. It sits in my parents’ neighbors’ front yard, but it dominated both their house and my parents’. I remember it as a two floor dwarf and thinking it would never grow to anything worthwhile.
I also shot it, because in the background, on the right is the building where the Pahls lived. (This is where Rainer, Gabriele and their parents lived. Mr. Pahl worked at the Tube Mill and he liked being close to his job.) I have fond memories of visiting them in the second floor apartment. The two windows on the second floor were the kitchen.
Sault Ste Marie in the winter, covered in Christmas snow is pretty, deceptively pretty. In the white wonderland it’s easy to forget the isolation and remoteness of this northern Ontario own at the confluence of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
The street where my parents still live and where the Pahls lived still has many of the same families that were there 40 years ago. However, the Pahls are gone, Rainer and Gabriele live in Harrow, I live in Pittsburgh and the Tube Mill has been taken over by a multinational – Tenaris.