Sunday, August 29

Terrorism at the Dump

I drive a '63 Chevy pickup that's showing its old age as
I cover up the rust with gray primer. The poor thing needs a major
operation to revitalize it inside and out, but the energy and funds
are redirected to higher priorities.

I loaded her up with old boards, trash and tree trimmings yesterday
and headed for the dump, a one or two time ritual each year. To make
things more interesting, I grabbed the video camera and tried an
enroute commentary as Ol' Blue (and Gray) rolled down the highway.
This was a precarious situation due to the fact that there are only two
ways to shoot video when you're driving by yourself. One: put the
camera on the dashboard pointed forward out the window. In this case,
there is about a 3" space between the windshield wipers, enough to film
through the scratched and blurring glass to get a decent, albeit shaky
picture. And two: handhold the camera while steering with your left hand.
This way you can spice up the view by panning left, right, up, down, etc.
Your commentary will be more easily understood, also.

Unfortunately, this is not the safest nor most legal way to preserve those
warm and fuzzy memories. And in my truck there is the other minor problem
of the highspeed (third) gears disengaging if you're not continually holding
the gearshift lever down (column shifter). I can get about 10 seconds of
hands-off time before the crunch time is announced with a loud, whining
grinding coming from the transmission.

So being part juggler, able to steer with your knees, and making sure there's
no one around you are all pluses if you want to get that National Geographic shot.

I thought there might be a bit of value in setting the camera on the cab, pointing it
back toward the action while dumping my load. Big mistake. After tossing everything
and cleaning up, one of the orange traffic 'guards' came up to me and told me it was illegal
to be filming inside the landfill station without permission. I explained my reasons
for doing it. He was patient and kind, a little bit nervous. I told him if it was a problem
to call me and gave him my Dave Skinner Photography card. I'm waiting for the police
to arrive at the door and confiscate my 8mm film cassette.

Next time I'll ask, but there won't be a next time.

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