Most of the pictures in the folder called 12-07-07 were taken at Bandshell Park in Ames.
There is a Swift Stop gas station in the bottom 2 pictures. In another life when I ran the campus outpost of the Evil Clown Empire there was a guy that worked for me that was the most America hating American I ever met. When he wasn’t talking about his Dungeons & Dragons empire, he was talking about how he wanted to move to Australia because he hated this country so much.
He was scheduled to work the lunch shift on September 11, 2001. After the airplanes struck the towers he called in to see if we were closing for the day. The answer was “no”. We were staying open. I don’t know if it was the right decision to stay open, but I don’t have to grapple with that in my sleep. I didn’t make that decision.
Then he called back every hour hoping that the answer was something different. The answer was never anything different.
Finally at the appointed hour he waddled into the store and proceeded to fill the store with his pissing and moaning. He was the kind of guy that pissed and moaned all the time, but he was particularly on fire this morning.
It seemed to me that he felt that he was the only one experiencing the events of the day. He was the only one that wanted to be somewhere else.
Finally, after 30 minutes of his grousing, I got sick of him and snapped at him and sent him home.
I can’t remember if he quit or was fired from the Evil Clown Empire any longer. A few years later I heard that he had died. He was working at that Swift Stop gas station. He had a heart attack while he was working alone. There was nobody in the store. He died on the floor of that convenience store and laid there until the next customer came in and discovered him.
He never moved to Australia.
I think about him on 9/11. I think about him when I drive by that building. It isn’t a gas station any longer. I believe it is a restaurant now. I remember, if your dream is to move to Australia, do it. Sooner rather than later. Tomorrow you could end up dead on the floor of a convenience store.
And on that note, I was able to restore the following blog by uploading these pictures to the SmugMug Gallery:
Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Nader.
3 thoughts on “12-07-07”
These are lovely, and I love the long exposure on the trash cloud.
That is such a sad story. Both how he lived and how he died.
A sad story can always get sadder. Nobody claimed his body, so the county had to bury him.
I have a few weird memories of him and his merry crew of Dungeons and Dragons players. They played every Friday night. They closed together on Saturday nights. One memory includes a guy that in the middle of lunch rush, left his register and went to the bathroom. He didn’t come back until after lunch rush was over. Said he had to go home because he “didn’t make it”.
But also, I really need to get my night photography groove going again.
Yep, that’s even sadder. Which also means that nobody visits him. That’s terrible.
Way worse than pooping your pants at work, although that would suck. I’m sure you’ve heard lore of how a certain prior Ortho2 employee used to go into the toilet at work with two sandwiches, and come out with none. Gross, but not that bad.
You should also ask Lindsey tomorrow about how she one time had to get “backup pants” for another former Ortho2 employee who pooped her pants at work, but was prepared enough for this eventuality that she had a spare pair onsite.
(I was neither of these prior employees, just to be clear.)
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