Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder 2009 contest winners
EPA’s Aging Initiative, Generations United, the Rachel Carson Council, Inc. and the Dance Exchange, Inc. are pleased to present the winners for the
third annual intergenerational photo, dance, essay and poetry Sense of Wonder contest. All entries were created by an intergenerational team.
This photo caught me a bit off guard, bringing back wonderful memories.
Gina, the photographer, described the photo:
My father has been a good role model to me as I grew up with plenty of time outdoors. The red plaid shirt became a sort of symbol, and it was an honor to get a matching shirt myself when I was in college. Now, at just one year old, my son is continuing the tradition of wearing the red and black shirt outdoors. It was fun to photograph the two together in our rural wooded backyard, and helped illustrate that my father can continue to pass along his sense of wonder and love of the outdoors to my son, his first grandchild.
My father, Paul Darrell, wore an old jacket for my entire life — a once-fuzzy buffalo plaid red-and-black woolen jacket. No one in the family can remember a time he didn’t have it. The jacket was probably at least 30 years old when I was born. He wore it when it was bitter cold — one story was that when it was well below zero one wintry morning in Burley, Idaho, it was the only coat he wore to walk to his furniture and appliance store to make sure the pipes hadn’t frozen, a walk of about a mile each way. It was too cold to start the car.
After he moved to Utah it was his usual gardening and yard-work coat on cold mornings. I know he took it on a few campouts with my Scout troop, and I’ll wager it went along on camping trips with my older brothers and sister 20 years before that. I remember my father sitting warm in that jacket on cold mornings around the campfire.
We had a peach tree in the back yard in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Frosts would come on those mountain slopes when the peaches were just ripened. I have memories of my father picking peaches in the jacket. He’d slice the peaches for our breakfast. No peach has ever been sweeter or more flavorful (but I keep searching). I remember my father in his buffalo plaid jacket, his arms full of ripe, cold peaches, coming through the kitchen door, and the smile on his face.
The red buffalo plaid coat was so much a symbol of my father that, at his death in 1988, it was one of those objects we nearly fought over. My niece Tamara ended up with it.
I have one, now. It’s a good L. L. Bean version, with the wool much thicker than my father’s well-worn version. After 20 years it still looks new, compared to his. I suspect it always will. It could never be warmer than his.
Special tip of the old scrub brush to Dr. Pamela Bumsted.