Friday, September 29, 2006

geriatric 1927 update -- Peter also writes

In addition to vlogging, Peter also writes.

Dad eased the car to a halt. A bomb from last night’s air raid had demolished most of the shops and offices on the right hand side of the street ahead. Fire engines were still fighting the flames of some of the buildings. The flashing lights of the ambulances and police cars created an illusion of a fairground ride as they bounced over the hoses and rubble. Then, suddenly a crashing noise from a collapsing roof sent sparks and debris high into the air as it imploded into the shell of the building adding fireworks to the illusion. A policeman, whose uniform was covered in a fine grey dust, patrolled the entrance to the street. Dad wound down the window.

‘Where are you trying to get to Sir?’

‘The railway station’.

‘It’s a bugger isn’t it, I don’t know what to tell you, I’ve been here since dawn and it looks like all the incendiary fires in the next streets are out now but I’ve no idea what debris there is. I think that if you turn left here and try one of the streets on the right you’ll find a way through.

Dad thanked him and drove on as instructed.

It's bound to happen. This story has all the marks of a future Hallmark production although the man seems not to know it. In the same vein as Reds, Titantic, Fried Green Tomatoes and a host of other films framed through the lens of an old person telling his story -- this is yet another. Those of us who watch it unfold will be well ahead of the crowd. And no matter who writes the script or plays the parts or directs the final production there will always be a lack of authentecity that we are able to know now, as it happens in real time.

Peter at seventy-nine makes it good to be alive. His story is his gift to the world. And a fine story it seems to be. He is for many the grandparent they never had or a role model they desparately need. Thanks to him uncounted numbers of young people have a chance to get it right.

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