debris

20 Years Ago There was Hurricane Named Andrew

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Krome Avenue Post Andrew 1992

20 years ago, Hurricane Andrew was a category 5 storm that hit South East Florida on August 24, 1992.  I was living in Tampa, Florida and only experienced some bad weather, my family and many others suffered through the storm of the century as it was being called.

Countless property was lost and Miami, especially Homestead, Florida was an utterly appalling  disaster area.  Water was scarce, tempers ran high as people struggled to provide the survival necessities.  My family’s home was severely damaged in the storm forcing my family to relocated to North Miami while the repairs were being done on the home.  I still regret for not realizing the extent of emotional and physical damage to my family.  I should have packed up my Bronco with supplies and headed to Miami, but I didn’t.  And, for this I am deeply sorry.  One positive outcome of the hurricane Andrew was that my beloved brother and I grew much closer cultivated our brotherhood.

I am not exactly sure when these pictures were taken.  It was sometime later probably in Autumn of 1992 when I took a drive around Homestead to see the damage with my own eyes.  The streets were unrecognizable, I couldn’t tell one from the next.  All of my childhood landmarks were gone.  The Miami that was part of my soul was blown away as the 175 mile per hour winds (280 k/ph) hit the city of my birth.  When I drive Krome Avenue these days, it still looks more barren than it ever was, except for all the cookie cutter developments that was sprouted over the last 20 years.

All these years later Miami has become a greener city again.  Many of the trees have grown back and some of the neighborhoods look lush as they used to, but not the same.  There are neighborhoods you can visit in between Miami and Homestead where the only the foundation of buildings remain.

It is hard to believe that 20 years have passed since that day.  These pictures were taken with my beloved Nikon FG, and a taped up and reloaded disposable panorama camera.  They were also hand printed in my university’s darkroom.  Some of my first prints to be done in color.  My color balancing skills were not as good as they are now.  As I can now use my digital darkroom to work on my pictures, part of my heart still belongs to the magic of watching an image come alive in the developer.

Looking back now I have come to the realization how much this event changed my life.  Hurricane Andrew not only tore down buildings but it ripped some families to shreds. I am thankful that my family was safe, and that we all survived to be together.

Let us not forget this tragedy as other storms barrel their way across the Caribbean and the American South, especially the land of my birth, Miami.

137 Street Homestead Post Andrew 1992

 

After Andrew Homestead Racer 1992

 

 

End of the Line, Chiba Debris-Scape  

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

The day was beautiful out.  The skies were so clear it felt as if I could see clear across the ocean all the way to San Francisco.  It is one of the amazing things about being in Tokyo in the winter time, is that the air becomes so clear that the skies are boundless.  On a day like today I had to just get out on my mountain bike and just pedal around to see what could be seen.  I needed to get out and breathe in the cool dry air, and fill my heart with better tomorrows.

Eventually I made it all the way to the edge of Tokyo bay.  The end of the road in Urayasu, and just gazed off into the curve of Chiba peninsula as it makes its way down to Tateyama.  I could even see bits of Kanegawa that borders on Tokyo, that is just how clear it was.

Now, if only I could make my mind as clear as the skies.  At times it seems like all the clouds flood my brain and heart.  I try hard to stay focused on what really matters in this crazy world.  There is so much nonsense we all have to go through that distracts us from what really matters.  It is times like this that I am so thankful to have family that I can reason with, and for the Creator to watch over us all.

I have faith that tomorrow will be better.  That tomorrow might be far off, but it might not.  I prepare for the worst, and pray for the best.  I know that the path I am on is the right one, and if it isn’t that I will be wise in my choices to keep on the path that I am suppose to be on.

Stare off into the boundless horizon.  Follow those curves.  Breathe deeply and let that brain fog clear away.

Debris Mound Tokyo Bay Sky

Chiba Penninsula Sun

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