Days gone by

Posted by Ken Campbell November 1, 2012 1 Comment 908 views
I’m not sure why – maybe it’s the rain – but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the big changes, the way that the world moves. Sometimes it’s a combination of little things that team up to make something obsolete, like I wrote about a few days ago with regard to phone books, slide projectors and Capt’n Jack. 
And then there’s times when I’m glancing through old photos… like the one above. It’s from my trip around Newfoundland, a day where I’m up against the wharves and stages of Petites, a little town on the south coast. There were still full-time residents there back in 2000 when this picture was taken, but the place has since been resettled, which is a Newfoundland euphemism for “shut down.” I don’t know what it looks like now, how the resettlement has changed it; I could probably look around the internet for some photos, but I rather prefer to remember it the way it was the day this picture was taken.
And that made me think about the resettled communities we have here in the Northwest. It’s hard to believe now, for instance, but there was once a town on the shores of Lake Ozette. Likewise, Crescent Bay was thick with piers, shanties, bars and houses of ill-repute more than a century ago. Some communities are still around but have been gentrified out of all recognition, like Port Gamble, while others have disappeared entirely.
Things change, sometimes so slowly that it is hard to see the incremental march of time. Like watching a child grow, or paint dry. But it’s all just as inevitable. I think it might be a good story, this exploration of Pacific Northwest communities that time has reclaimed, that have vanished into the gauzy cover of history. I’ll give it some thought.
It must be the rain.

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