“because fire is the devil’s only friend”
To those who may be worried, this is not about Don McLean, the devil or even that guilty pleasure of a movie, “American Pie.”
See, I lived in Southern California from 1985-2000. Some formative years in my life, let me tell ya. As I watch the coverage of the fires out there, my heart is breaking. I stayed up all night last night, with small fits of sleep, watching wall to wall coverage of the fires on CNN. So many familiar places, even the familiar name and face of a high school friend’s brother who is now a Public Information Officer for the LA County Fire Department.
I hear them talk about Malibu and I remember a friend and I jumping into my 1970 red VW bug and driving up there to see what all the fuss was about and to give us time to smoke our beloved Salem Menthols. I think of driving along the Malibu coast and trying to escape whatever was plaguing my mind with thoughts of living in those huge houses on the cliffs and along the beach. I wonder how many of those houses are now damaged.
I see the fires in San Diego county and I just stare. I stare at the places that are on fire, places where I spent lots of my wasted youth, well, wasting my youth. San Diego was always this complete oasis that was only 2 hours down Pacific Coast Highway. Lots of boys, lots of trouble to get into, lots to do…and at one time or another, I probably did it all. Now I hear of these places not as recreation spots, but as refugee shelters for people who may or may not have a place to go home to. There is talk of the San Diego fires just burning until they hit the beach. With all the development, there is still plenty of green areas left in SD and those areas may fuel this monster and put in peril the little beach cities that I love so much.
Even if you aren’t specifically threatened by the fires, you are effected. My mom is having horrible respiratory problems. Her car is covered with soot. The sky at her house is an eerie yellow. She says it smells like she’s in the middle of a big campfire. She is a good 40 miles from the closest fires and is near the beach, but does that matter with these fires? She works for the city she lives in and a large portion of their fire department is out helping other departments try to reign this thing in. However, they can’t help but wonder if those guys can make it home in time should the large peninsula right by their home town should go up in flames….which is entirely possible at this point.
The last couple of days here in Nashville have been pretty dreary. Rainy and cool and not too motivational to anyone. But as I was sitting at lunch, lamenting the fact that I wasn’t at home on the couch reading and enjoying this weather, I stopped and realized that at least I have a couch to go home to tonight and I tried with all my might to make the rain take a hard turn West and not stop until it reaches the ocean. I figure it can’t hurt.