Tag: history

  • Story: Wave Runners

    Everyone has a story of something they did once upon a time, which, in retrospect, was probably not a good idea. This is one such tale.

    Flashback to the 1990’s. At that time, I was splitting an apartment in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a friend named Ralph, who also enjoyed outdoor challenges. As such, every now and then, when the weather turned foul, we’d telephone a wave report recording, which detailed conditions present on Lake Michigan.

    One stormy summer day, this report cited waves near Holland, Michigan, as high as 8-12 feet, including a stern recommendation to avoid coastal areas. Well, that was exactly what we were hoping to hear, and so quickly jumped into the car on a road trip to the south pier, demarcating the channel between Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. Thirty minutes later, we parked and continued our trek on foot through strong winds and rain, toward the pier.

    This was a big storm, as whitecap waves crashed up and down the beach, surging far inland along the coastline. As we approached, it became apparent that roughly 20% of the pier was engulfed in waves at any given moment. This observation should’ve served as an omen not to proceed…

    However, after an extensive discussion it was decided that, though obviously dangerous, our individual attributes of bravery, keen sense of observation and quick reactions, respectively, were sufficient to undertake the challenge: which was, to see who could traverse farthest along the pier?

    Note: digital cameras didn’t exist on the market at that time, but I’ve included a few photographs taken many years later, which show the coastal landscape and piers:

    Relative to the second image – which is actually an aspect of the other pier, to the north – the storm we faced was significantly stronger and with much larger waves. In point of fact, unlike the common and predictably wind-driven pattern of waves rolling in uniform rows, what we encountered was less organized and wild, with waves crashing from both the front and side directions.

    Painted blue, bollards were positioned along the length of each pier. Were the situation to present itself where either one of us was unable to elude an oncoming wave, my friend suggested that the best course of action was to drop down onto the pier and secure oneself by clutching on to a bollard for safety.

    And so began the challenge.

    This endeavor was as difficult as it was foolish, as waves broke across the pier at essentially random intervals, all the time of which my eyes were glued on the water. Movement entailed both quick footsteps and brief sprints, scrambling on the concrete both forward and backwards in order to safely create space between potentially hazardous waves. It was a major adrenaline rush, to say the least.

    I’d estimate that I was approximately 50-60% of the way out on the pier when it happened. I glanced back to check on my friend, only to see Ralph hunkered down and clinging for dear life to a bollard…as he was swept away by a huge wave, washing him over the other side of the pier toward the channel, down into the rocks.

    I immediately moved back toward where he was, all the while watching over my shoulder to remain cognizant of approaching waves. From a distance of 15-feet away, I spotted Ralph among the rocks with only his head visible above water, and without a stronghold for safety. Glancing back once more, I then saw him suddenly disappear into a trough of shifting waters, sinking an estimated 5-feet among the rocks and vanishing, out of sight. There was nothing I could do to help him.

    Then, only seconds later, the water crested, lifting Ralph up and out of that den of death, tossing him like driftwood on to the rocks, where he latched-on and was able to dash up the incline to the top of the pier.

    We hightailed it back to shore as quickly as possible, never again to challenge such a storm as was experienced on that day.

  • Cheoah River Dam

    Cheoah River Dam

    Here’s another photograph of the Cheoah River Dam, located in Robbinsville, North Carolina. It was constructed between 1916-1919, stands 225-feet tall, and, in 1993, was used as a filming location for the movie, The Fugitive (starring Harrison Ford). Today, it can be enjoyed on a variety of fine prints and other gift items, available in my galleries at Pixels & Redbubble. Thanks!

  • Poem

    Poem

    Time is Precious

    Time is precious
    It’s of the essence
    It’s here, then gone
    From adolescence

    The time you have
    And the time you take
    The things you’ve done
    And the plans you make
    The sights you’ve seen
    Now a memory
    And what’s to come
    Yet a fantasy

    Time marches on
    Though nary a sound
    Hands on the wall
    Each day spin around

    Time is fleeting
    Take note and behold
    Lessons in life
    With age, growing old

    Make your time count
    To be a good friend
    Share happiness
    And love to the end

    © 2022 Phil Perkins

    You might also enjoy reading another poem I wrote about time, entitled “A Distant Time“. It was published on July 12, 2021.


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    Having read “Muted Castle“, by talented poetess, dancer and dear friend Annabel – wherein she speaks to personal experiences of relocation, love and memories of her homeland – I was inspired to write this poem in response…

    Through wind and rain
    Your words retain
    A soothing sound of love

    Despite hardship
    This distant trip
    A godsend from above

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

  • Cheoah Dam

    Cheoah Dam

    Completed in 1919 and standing 225-feet tall, this black and white photograph of the historic Cheoah Dam was taken in Robbinsville, North Carolina. You can find many fine prints and more when you visit the following galleries:

    Trivia: this dam was included in the 1993 movie, The Fugitive (Harrison Ford).

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Black and White Cabin

    Black and White Cabin

    Located in the Smoky Mountains at Cades Cove, not far from Townsend, Tennessee, this black and white photograph features a vintage cabin built by European settlers in the early eighteen-hundreds. Many prints are available in my gallery. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Vintage Structures

    From the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee at Cades Cove, these photographs include an old church steeple with bell, hand-crafted rafters inside a barn, and the Grist Mill waterwheel. You can visit my gallery at Pixels to see a variety of print types, such as: framed, metal, canvas, wood, art, poster, acrylic and tapestry. Thanks for looking!

  • Black and White Building

    Cades Cove

    This historic wooden structure was photographed at Cades Cove, in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. A verdant valley originally home to both Cherokee Indians and early European settlers, the area is now a very popular tourist destination with many roadside attractions.

    Fine prints are available in these shops

  • Poem in Response

    Poem in Response

    Having read Feeling the Squeeze, poetic prose by the talented and often inspirational Arizonian poetess, Michele Lee Sefton – wherein she writes about regional economic history, homegrown citrus & making lemonade – I was inspired to write this poem in response…

    From gloves to weed
    And holes to seed
    To roots with shoots
    And dirty boots

    The work you’ve done
    Unfolds as fun
    At harvest time
    Your crops, sublime

    © 2022 Phil Perkins


    PHOTO CREDIT: modified photo from unsplash.com.

  • Happy New Year!!!

    Happy New Year!!!

    Welcome to 2022. Are you ready to make this the best year, ever?

    Take this opportunity to enjoy the New Year – all year long – with a variety of gifts and apparel items featuring my cool digital artwork, available in these shops:

    Samples

  • Vintage Cabin

    Cades Cove


    This historic wooden log cabin is located by the Grist Mill along the scenic drive at Cades Cove, in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, near Townsend.

  • John Oliver Cabin

    When touring Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, the first roadside attraction visitors encounter is the John Oliver Cabin. John and Lucretia Oliver were the original European settlers in this verdant valley, befriended by the Cherokee Indians, who offered assistance during their first winter. The cabin was built in 1822.

    Prints are available in my gallery. Thank you.