Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tree Down

A dramatic thing happened during our walk on Sunday. As we waited to cross the highway, a huge tree right near us suddenly leaned, groaned, and fell onto the power lines. Its roots must have been loosened by the recent rains and wind.

 When its full weight hit the wires, there was a resounding boom and a bright flash just 100 feet from us. We ran to get out from under any falling wires, and then we dialed 911.


I had my art stuff with me so I drew the scene, pretending I was one of the old-time sketch-reporters like Everett Shinn, William Glackens, John Sloan, and F.R. Gruger.

It didn't take long for the fire department, the state troopers, and the power companies to come and block off the state highway.

The power was knocked out in our neighborhood for about five hours, so there was a spontaneous block party as we watched the crew fix the damage.
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10 comments:

Steve said...

Were you already wearing the shirt with the safety yellow/green reflective stripes? If so, it seems like you were in appropriate uniform from the Department of Art.

James Gurney said...

Hi, Steve, Yes, it's funny: That's my street painting shirt and I had been out painting earlier in the day. It kind of looked official so a couple of the emergency guys came over to see who I was with. I'd love to get a patch made that says "Department of Art."

Alex Castillo said...

Glad to know everyone is okay. Is that you underneath the tree?

Daroo said...

I think People might buy those patches -- you could bundle them with a safety cone stenciling kit.

David J. Teter said...

Too funny, as though it was waiting for you before it fell.
I would like to see you get one of those windbreakers like the DEA, FBI, CIA have...
Yours DOA.

James Gurney said...

David, that sounds awesome, and I love "DOA." It not only stands for Department Of Art, but also Dead On Arrival, which describes a few of my failed painting efforts.

Daroo, yes, those patches would make great prizes on the blog, and maybe I could have them sewn onto a set of official looking uniform shirts for groups of plein air painters so they could go out and Command the Streets.

Alex, once I saw the tree going over and heard the boom I stayed well back from that tree and let the professionals deal with it. It felt strange to draw the branches leaning at that weird angle.

Goodsooth said...

What a wonderful blog - I love today's: an on-the-spot, up-to-the-minute example of bringing your all to each moment of life. My first reaction to DOA was oh no - how about Dpt. of A - not nearly as succinct but I favor correctly-interpretable over the more often used initials, but I love JG's take on it. Thank you!

Elena Jardiniz said...

"Not much for the Fire Department to do when they arrived..." And they were Very Happy about that, I'm sure.

You might want to go with Dpt. of A so that you won't get some serious official's nose quite as out of joint as DOA would. I like the safety bits though - considering how they drive here in Los Angeles, we need all the safety bits we can find!

K_tigress said...

Wow scary stuff. Glad no one was hurt. I would hate to be stuck in the car in all that chaos. Especially since I don't carry a cellphone. But then I suppose someone could have called for me seeing the distress.

Craig Wilson said...

The painting of the downed tree is really terrific, and the captions give it the feel of a comic book panel which only adds to its appeal for me.