Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating. While I am typing this, I am savoring the memories of turkey earlier consumed and am relishing the thought of pie to come. In the North East, record cold temperatures are making Turkey Trots and pre-black Friday queues a bit more daunting. Nonetheless, it is easy to usually think of a plethora of reasons to be thankful.
This morning, I was forwarded a photo reminding me that not every one had it so easy today. In the west, wild fires have decimated communities and unfortunately claimed many lives. The last toll of destruction I saw estimated that nearly 250,000 acres have burned, around 14,000 structures were turned to ash, 80 people were confirmed deceased, and around 1,000 people are still unaccounted for. This is an ongoing tragedy.
For those of us who are far removed, it can sometimes be difficult to fully grasp the full gravity of a situation so remote. Personally, for me, I saw photos on Facebook from my cousin’s backyard of a fire looming ever closer. Each hour, the situation seemed more dire. There have been videos and photos circulating that can show the tremendous power of the infernos.
This morning, I received this photo:
On the left, there is what appears to be an American Austin next to the hulk of a 1955 Chevrolet. Although saddened for the owner and his neighbors who likely lost more than just two cars, I didn’t at first realize what I was looking at. Then I scrolled down and saw this:
This was indeed an Austin and a 55 Chevrolet. I don’t know too much about the Chevy, but the Austin belonged to Art. This was a five window coupe which was certainly a source of pride and joy for him. Folks are saying he and his family are safe, but they have endure a tremendous hardship.
I’m sorry to hear about Art’s loss, as well as that of his neighbors, and the entire swath of California devastated by these fires. The Austin Bantam Society has a large membership in California, I’m not sure all of them have been accounted for as of yet.
I didn’t post these photos for you to lament the lost cars or to feel for our fellow gear heads. I posted these photos help illuminate how people just like us found large parts of their lives swept away. Whatever your thoughts are on climate change, whatever political ideologies you subscribe to, and whatever other extraneous things have run through your mind, we should put these things aside and consider the plight of our fellow countrymen (or fellow people, if you’re reading this outside of the USA).
Hopefully your Thanksgiving is going well and has been joyous and reflective. Please take a moment to think about those who have lost so much and consider how you could perhaps help.
I don’t have any fancy suggestions as I am still thinking myself.
Art, I’m sorry for your loss and hope all those you love are safe.