Kodak Brownie Starmatic
Kodak Portra 160
This might be the remains of the place where my father was born, and lived until he was 4. I don’t know for sure, and neither did Dad when we stood here that summer day in 2012.
When we visited his hometown of Handley, West Virginia, together in 1990, the building still stood. I remember it being painted yellow. But Dad couldn’t find the building on this visit to town, and he just had to guess that this was probably it.
When I was a child my dad sat on the edge of his chair one night as a news report showed a house on fire — the one where he had lived as a teen with his dad. I remember Dad’s face, grave, grief-stricken.
Dad seemed dispassionate as we stood before this ruin. Perhaps he had cultivated a level of stoicism to cope with so much loss.