grandma tag

A spell of warm, dry weather has graced us here in Western Oregon. I've been walking along the river several days a week, camera in my pocket, and sometimes out it comes. Sunshine on the water is hard to resist (looks so lovely, you know).

I should mention that the title of my post has nothing to do with any developments in my extended family. I'm not a grandma, nor do I know any news in that direction that I'm keeping secret, neither am I hinting toward any person or persons that I wish to become one. I'm simply old enough now to be a grandma, and therefore I was amused, to say the least, when on the river last week I was accused of criminal behavior. Sort of, anyway.

My camera had come out of my pocket when I reached a bench with interesting detail.

I knelt, trying for an artistic shot.

After I stood and came back to the path, a man was there watching his romping dog. When I said hello, he asked, "You didn't just tag that bench, did you?"

I assured him I was only taking photos and had been trying to avoid the graffiti tags in my efforts.

"Oh, well, sorry," he said. He went on to bemoan the constant besmirching of these otherwise nice landmarks. "People have had the benches put here in memory of loved ones, and I don't know if they'll move them or not after the way they're treated."

A few days later, I spotted men from the city scrubbing the same bench and painting over the tags. I thanked them. This is how the bench looks, minus graffiti:

Here's another one, closer to where I enter the path for my jaunting. It still has tagging behind it, but the metal must resist such artwork:

I don't know if calling graffiti "artwork" is bad form. I know gangs are involved. But my romantic side guesses someone is proud of their work at these landmarks; this effort in someone's mind is a skill, part of the life they know. Maybe that's going too far the wrong direction.

But this grandma-aged mind still makes these kind of connections; I still wish to know the stories, at least during sunny walks along the river.


Heidi/Sophia McBride said…
Very nice! =)
Deanna said…
Hi, Sophia! :o)
Dee Ready said…
Dear Deanna, thank you for these awesome photographs. They take me back to the wide creek that ran through the farm on which I grew up--sunlight sparkling on water, over hanging tree limbs, berries. Of course the benches weren't there, but like you I wonder about the young people who left their art behind. What are their stories? Their sorrows? Their joys? Their dreams? People truly are mysterious and awe-ful. Peace.
Deanna said…
What a great thought, Dee: "People truly are mysterious and awe-ful." Lately I get to reacquaint myself with the river path, and with the humanity dawdling and surging along it (including myself). May your day be peaceful. I'll get back to reading blogs regularly sometime soon, I hope!
Beth Westmark said…
What a gift to have such a beautiful river near where you live. The photos are lovely. I especially like your ruminations on the benches. Their photos are the perfect repository for stories, past, present and future.
Deanna said…
Thanks, Beth. It's great, as you know, to get to make time for stories.
simplygermain said…
A happy little dreamscape you've painted! I do enjoy the river walks and slowly drifting through nature's beauty in the "Lane". Thanks for the post.
Deanna said…
Germanus, I appreciate your descriptive comment. God bless you and your loved ones "up north."