Friday, July 6, 2007


A little past four in the morning the sirens disturb the serenity in this sleepy, overheated desert town. 111 °F yesterday on my friend's porch. There is a fire, smoke and the pop, pop, poppp sounds of exploding ammunition and black powder. Twice already, this old mining camp with its mainly wooden structures burned to the ground. So I throw a change of clothes, medication and toiletries in the car, get my laptop, phone and ticket cum passport ready in a rucksack and go off to take pictures and investigate. A small trailer next to the church and the activity day center of the church is burning wildly. Our understaffed and underfunded volunteer fire brigade does its best. We all know there is hardly any water, so the water might be shut off in the rest of the town so that there is enough pressure for dousing the flames. One person, keeps the church building nearest to the fire wet, two others work on the fire. Years ago, another structure owned by the same man went up in flames… It reminds me of a poem by Sherman Alexie ‘Little Fires’, where the flames follow his family. All the right decisions were made, the volunteers took risks being near the very possible explosion of the structure, but got it under control. The wind was calm, so the fire was contained.


  1. Good thing that the wind stayed asleep.

  2. And later in the day, the church members gathered and prayed and gave thanks to God for saving their church.

    I wonder if they prayed to the same God that lit the fire under the ammunition. And, had their church burned to the ground, whether they would have prayed and given thanks that at least they were all alive and well. And had all of them burned to death except one, whether that one would have prayed to the all-merciful God and given thanks that she was spared.

    And, had God, in a fit of pique, wiped them all out, I wonder if He would have approved the Church Board erecting a shooting gallery to replace the church supporting the 'War on Terrists', with a bunch of Muslim and Arab folks as targets.

    And would God have given his blessing to naming the shooting gallery, 'Shoot For Jesus'.?