GreenStreet, Houston

Houston has had a barrage of cold snaps over the past few weeks, which has pretty much meant that all four seasons that Houston sees happen within about a week’s time. While this routinely verbose and humid city struggles with what to wear at any given time outdoors (layers, people!), when this photo was taken, the temperature had dropped to an uncanny low after being around 60-ish degrees the day before.

I usually receive feedback from friends who live in other areas that the lows of 30-something are nothing compared to the snow that you see in your part of the world. True. I have yet to feel accomplished in successfully describing the weather that we see in Houston without it turning into a “¿Que es mas macho?” contest. That is “What is more macho?” for anyone who doesn’t speak the pieced together Spanglish I routinely incorporate in my dialect. Anyway, the temperature had dropped to around freezing the day I decided to shoot yet I wasn’t ready to scrap my preparation for not only this wall (created by the very talented @sugarandcloth), but the accompanying staircase I previously presented on MLK day 2018.

When I arrived at the GreenStreet location, I quickly parked at a questionably metered area on one of the nearby side streets. Questionable in that I couldn’t find an actual meter, nor could I see a “No Parking” sign. If you plan on spending a decent amount of time at The House of Blues or any of the restaurants or business in that center, they have a very nice parking garage. What I needed was a quick shot or two, so I took my chances on parking.

I collected my gear for the shoots and made my way to the specific location to snap what I needed. I spotted a family utilizing the painted staircase previously referenced so worked to remain a particularly respectful distance away. As this was January, I was confused by the majority of the family in relatively skimpy clothing, but to each their own. I began to set up the boombox and my flipbin to display the record. Crouching in a squat to line up the shot, said family decides that they are moving to an area along the wall from the staircase. I kept the camera snapping.

At this point, Mom from the group is wrangling the two preteen kids for their shots, threatening dismemberment if they aren’t on their best behavior. Dad is fumbling with the camera, refocusing as each fidget causes a grumble or two. Snap, snap. Snap. Next up, Dad pulls out a shiny confetti substance and passes it out for a live glitter bomb of an upward toss. As I completed my wall shots in that area, I moved my set up to the staircase and offered a full family shot to just be turned down. A little self conscious that the glitter confetti had now spilled all over the ground when I approached, Dad instructs the kids to pick up what they could, and tried sweeping the remainder with his foot towards the wall.

The record selection seemed to be an obvious choice when I saw a large pink color blocked portion of the wall. The original pressing was handed down to me by my father when he realized that I collect vinyl. I consider this musical portion of his teenage and early twenties one of the nicest gifts I have received from him. Last Christmas, for example he bought me a nice blender that I had little use for, which ended up being traded in (with a gift receipt) for more records. So, this among a few actual records that were played on his turntable felt like a major olive branch towards any personality differences (or often too similarities?) we experience periodically. Also, @bedbathandbeyond sells a limited selection of records for anyone curious.

Anyway, I feel as though this is one way that I have been able to connect not only with the music that played on the radio for most of my childhood, but with my father through the shared experience of the growing pains that Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” embodies. If there are any sort of “rite of passage” moments in our relationship, I count this as no less than one.

As I reflect on my day of glitter drop filled color walls, what I connect with are the passages of time that are no more evident than in moments of a family photo. The sting of a family member’s idle threats to get one to “behave” often fade, as what is captured is an opportunity later for a reflection of the things that went into that moment. The wrangling, the smiles, the props. In that regard, how truly fitting I find the glitter confetti; confetti being a multitude of possibly once important scraps that find their way into a mix of other pieces.  All of which, as special or as insignificant as we decide build how we define our memories.

 

Happy Tuesday, Y’all!

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