May 27, 2010
May 28, 2010
May 27, 2010
May 28, 2010
May 23, 2010
I often walk this hill.
I imagine when my great grandparents and my grandmother and her siblings finally settled at the foot of this immense mound, they had already looked up at its greatness for several years.
I imagine them, maybe, walking about the hill, maybe, taking a break from farming the land. And, really, I can only imagine them looking over the valley and seeing woods covering Sunderland, Amherst, Hadley, Northampton, Easthampton, and beyond, that little more exist.
I imagine my mom riding her horse around this hill, young like me. That’s what I imagine her doing here.
When I look from the top of this hill, I see the farm, still in the family; my parents’ work hard for a life I’m not sure I will take on.
I see the University of Massachusetts, treetops, crevasses where there are major roads, and mountains I believe exist in the works of Erastis sailsburyfield.
So many times I have walked up this hill – with neighbors, family, friends, horses, dogs, boyfriends, Sean.
Mostly, I feel, it’s the one thing here that isn’t stale.
When I was young, a real child, and the hill was covered in snow, just so the grass couldn’t poke through, I would walk alone making footprints with intensions, walking backwards.
If the snow melted in the sun and hardened into a half inch of crust at night, we would all scurry our way up the hill, and slide down, and dive off whatever our vehicle was before hitting pickers at the bottom.
When the snow was light, we would hitch up the horse to the sleigh and ride up and around on sunny days.
When there was no snow, no mud from the spring thaw, and the grass was short, we’d ride the horses around there too. I think my earliest memories of being on the hill is of my parents shifting me on and off the front of the saddle; one of them always holding me around my tummy.
That might have been before they rented the field out, but I don’t really know.
One renter planted cow corn. The neighbors and I would run through the isles of tall stalks, getting whipped by long fuzzed leaves.
Later on, we got a new renter, who does hay. It was always fun to climb the gold bails, to try and push them around. We were all too weak and young. I’m pretty sure we all loved the smell, of the dried grass warming in the sun. The dust would tickle our noses.
Before we were of age, we learned how to drive out there. Before grandma died, when I was practicing how to drive, we put her in the car too. She liked going for rides. She told me to put the pedal to the metal, of course I didn’t. I always think about that when I’m driving and I think of grandma.
I was real sad then, when I was in high school. I did a lot of imagining. I would always imagine romantic affairs up there. Who wouldn’t want to be up the hill, seeing everywhere, so far, with someone you love who loves you back? But I was mostly alone then.
So, sometimes I would take the dog up there – just the two of us. She was really my mom’s dog, and I could never have loved her as much, but it made me happy to see the dog prancing through grass three feet high or snow three feet deep. Then we’d have to pick the tics off her, or melt away the beads of snow caught in her paws. Once she bit a porcupine up there and it took days to get the quills out. That was a long night.
Mostly we go up there at night anyways, I mean, when the sun is setting, at the end of the day. Sometimes, we all would walk up there and see UMass lit up at night. It was even easier to see the stars, the Milky Way, the moon.
Today, I walked up there with my camera. It’s a good camera. I can take some pretty good photos. The grass was mixed in with clover. The hill is passed spring, so there is no mud and the anthills are underway. It’s not ready for hay, hasn’t even been planted. Actually, I don’t know if it will. But I have to walk carefully, like my parents would always tell me, not to tramp all over the clover and grass. So, I walked carefully, trying not to trample all over the hill. I took some pictures. And, really, what I thought this time is, man, it’s going to be hard to leave this, one day.
The Woroniekis are pretty infamous, especially the father of the family Michael Woronieki whose life was transformed by finding God and Jesus.
The family preaches. According to them, they travel around the world preaching the word of God. They don’t belong to any church in particular and they claim they don’t have any followers.
The Woronieckis claim they have been visiting the University of Massachusetts Amherst every year for many years preaching their message, handing out pamphlets and carrying giant signs. The last two years, I’ve interviewed members of the family at UMass.
Only until recently, have they hit the web in what seems to be a primary source.
Now that the Woronieckis have hit the web much like everyone else today, this could mean a huge expanse of preaching and thus a wider audience.
The Woronieckis have been accused of having a sort of brainwashing style.
Having interviewed them twice, it is agreeable. But what gets me most is how they answer questions and how they talk to you. It’s as if they never come out of preaching mode. Every answer is long winded and is a lot to digest because everything alludes or pertains to God, Jesus, sinning, and the bible.
And, now, people who enjoy the preaching of the family, have 24/7 Internet access to their preaching lives, or at least videos, music, and blog entries.
But don’t forget: the family is their own PR contact. They will put the spin on how they see fit.
As usually planned, here are my last few days of Photos of the Days, due to my only and inconvenient access to dial-up.
May 13, 2010
May 14, 2010
May 15, 2010
May 16, 2010
If you follow my video and documentary work, you might know I happen to do a lot of ambush interviews. If I see something interesting and I can get a camera ASAP or have one in my bag, I will more likely than not, start interviewing the subject.
I try to be nice and unthreatening by all means. I don’t want to scare the subject off. I haven’t had an ambush interview go extremely wrong or get out of hand. But one day in London’s South Bank, I definitely stumbled upon one of my most unique subjects and perhaps awkward interviews.
What resulted was the following video costarring musical artist Emil Lager and his friend Amy.
Lager has a number of well-recorded, yet raw recordings on his MySpace music page and has a few shows set up for the summer. He is also an actor, playing a role in a French indie film called Cassie and playing in a fringe theatre company called Scandimaniacs.
And, according to his biography, he, “Is currently appearing in season IV of SKINS on E4 and as the lead guitarist in the Japanese mega star Ayumi Hamasaki’s two latest music videos MICROPHONE and SEXY LITTLE THINGS.”
Friday was a bit hazy for taking photos at the top of Mount Sugarloaf, but I snapped a good one of a tractor at teh mountain’s base.
I realized I labeled the photo of the day for May 5, 2010 as May 6. So the picture of my cute kitten is actually for May 5. Here are my photos of the last few days – which I would upload sooner if it wasn’t for dial-up Internet that doesn’t allow me to upload photos, or even send emails these days.
May 6, 2010
May 7, 2010
May 8, 2010
May 9, 2010
May 10, 2010