Friday, November 27, 2009

Goodbye, Scenic Wheaton . . . . .

I am so sad that one of my very favorite bloggers, Scenic Wheaton, has taken down her blog. She is an excellent writer who has had some very interesting experiences. She has swum across the Chesapeake several times, she speaks the native dialect of Switzerland, she works as a physical therapist to amputees at Walter Reed, she rode her bike all the way down to the inauguration, to name a just a few, and somehow she has managed to appreciate living in Wheaton, which is really quite an achievement. I loved the subtle humor that often accompanied her otherwise very earnest and thoughtful point of view. I'm really going to miss having her in my little blogging world. I hope she's okay. Maybe she moved or something.

In my mind I tend to think of the bloggers that I read regularly as my imaginary friends. They are all real people but I've only ever met one of them in real life, so the rest of them just kind of float around in my head. I've sort of enjoyed this semi-anonymous, internet only, aspect of blogging, but now that I've lost one of my favorite imaginary friends I'm starting to think that maybe I should allow myself to be a little more sociable and less on the fringes of things. I'm quite comfortable there, but maybe I'll go to a blogger meetup or something after I finish my house. I guess I'm pretty attached to the blogs I read regularly. There's another one that I'm worried won't come back. She hasn't posted in a while, and I hope she doesn't disappear too.

On the other hand, it's kind of selfish for me to have such expectations of my favorite blogger people, since I don't post very often myself. But I don't think it would matter too much one way or the other if I were to suddenly or gradually stop posting. In a way, this blog has mostly been a bunch of fluff that I put together in an effort to cheer myself up during this annoying post-fire phase of my life. Maybe there won't be a need for that when the next phase of my life (which will not contain the word fire) begins. Who knows?

Anyway I miss you, Scenic Wheaton, wherever you are and I dedicate the photos below to your memory because you always seemed so enthusiastic about my silly water tower pictures. I did more than one post about water towers thanks to you.

Here they are - Here, here, and here.
And here's a little bit more:

This spring they painted the Glenmont water tower. It was an interesting process that went on for a couple of months. I took pictures, but got busy with school or something so I never posted them. Before they repainted they had to sandblast off the old paint and the tower went through some interesting transformations during this process. It started wearing clothes.

Nice skirt, or is that a dress?

That's a cute little shower hat, and an adorable pink apron.

Actually now the apron looks more like a cape. They raised and lowered that bottom section every day I think. I saw them doing it several times.

I used to enjoy painting up near the roof of my house. It must be really cool to be up on top of that water tower. I wonder how far that guy can see in the distance from way up there?

It's all shiny and new now. It used to be more of an aqua color, but now it's a very pale blue - almost white. I always enjoy seeing it in the distance as I drive over to work on my house.


Barbara said...

I wonder what life after Blogging is like. I'm still too attached to my Blog family to quit and find out.

Bowie Mike said...

I came across the Scenic Wheaton site through your site, added it to reader, and then didn't see too many posts after that. I have to admit that sometimes it feels like blogging crosses the enjoyment line and seems more like a chore at times. I try to find a balance someplace. I'm still not completely sure why I do it, but I do.

Interesting pics of the water tower. Glad you finally posted them.

word verification: copast. I guess that's when you share a common history.

lacochran said...

I have read and enjoyed Scenic Wheaton's blog and will miss it. :( Hope she's doing well outside of blogland.

Cyndy said...

Barbara - I think the fact that you often meet and make friends with other bloggers in real life probably adds a great deal to the attachment. Since I'm more of a reader than a writer it would probably be easier for me to detach and I would not be missed as much. But I'm not planning to give it up any time soon, in fact I'm not "planning" to give it up at all.

Mike - I think you do it because it's fun. Your blog certainly reflects that. One thing I've really enjoyed noticing in all of my blog reading is that there are so many people out there who share a common history or lead parallel lives on one level or another and that just kind of feels good.

But even more than that I love reading blogs of people whose lives and backgrounds are very different from mine. It's a fascinating world out there.

Cyndy said...

lacochran - Me too. I'm sure she has many readers who feel the same way. I hope we haven't seen the last of her.

Silver Spring: Then and Again said...

Jerry McCoy here...Silver Spring Historical Society. My December "Silver Spring: Then & Again" column will be about the 900 block of Silver Spring Avenue. I will be discussing the Barnes family as well as others who lived on the street.

Cyndy said...

Hi Jerry - That's really cool, thanks for letting me know. I'll put the word out.

Thomas Hardman said...

I miss those occasional postings, especially the ones about caring for the Veterans. Some folks will go on and on about how they support the military, but she actually walked that walk instead of just talking the talk.

Speculation on why that blog came down is probably fruitless. There are any number of reasons, aside from just being tired of it. She might have been reassigned to some area of operations where blogging just isn't wise. She might have decided that "don't ask don't tell" applied to blogging no less than to the workplace. And then again, it might be getting increasingly hard to find anything pleasant to say about Wheaton and its wildlife after the despicable crimes of hate-filled gangster fag-bashers:

[...] At about 2:30 a.m. Oct. 25, police say three men pulled up in a green vehicle in the 2600 block of Weisman Road in Wheaton, where a 30-year-old Wheaton woman, a 24-year-old Silver Spring man and a 24-year-old Silver Spring woman were walking. Police say the men got out of the vehicle and began throwing rocks and bottles at the three passersby, calling them "faggots" and "lesbians." The 30-year-old woman was seriously injured when a rock hit her on the forehead, and the other two victims received minor injuries from the flying debris, according to police. Police say one of the attackers brandished a knife, while another got out a stick or tire iron to threaten passers-by.

The 30-year-old woman was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, police said. She has since been treated and released and is recovering from her injuries at home, police say. [...]

"Scenic" is hopefully not the woman mentioned -- and hopefully that unidentified woman will fully recover -- but it is worth noting that the timing of her blog being taken down and this despicable near-murder are so exact as to make this highly circumstantial.

Hopefully this is simply a case of someone realizing that lightning struck very close by in a gathering storm, and further realizing that you don't want to be standing tall and holding a lightning rod in such a situation. Part of the appeal of "Scenic Wheaton" was the personal element and that sharing of the personality and personal is a double edged sword. It gives art a special power but it also creates personal exposure.

Wherever she is, I'm sure we all wish nothing but the best for her. And in parting I want to once again offer special thanks for her career supporting the men and women who put themselves in harm's way to keep the harm overseas where it belongs rather than stalking our streets.

Cyndy said...

Thank you, Thomas, for your very insightful comments. I certainly hope that the incident you mentioned did not involve her. An attack like that is a terrible thing to happen to anyone, in any neighborhood, and I hope those victims will all fully recover. It's dangerous for anyone to walk around these sketchy neighborhoods so late at night because of all of the creeps and hoodlums lurking around out there.

I was hoping that perhaps she had simply moved and would resurface once she was settled in to her new non-Wheaton neighborhood. I guess we'll never know, and I suppose that is one of the advantages, safety-wise, of having a semi-anonymous or fully anonymous blog. Another advantage is that if you don't feel like blogging, you don't have to. The only people who ever nag me to post are people who actually know me in real life.

Anyway, I wish her well and I hope she is safe and I hope I'll stumble upon more of her excellent writing one day in the future.

WhatsupWheaton Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am just ploughing through all your pictures - these are really great. I thought I recognised this tower... I cant believe anyone would post photos of the Glenmont water tower :) Its really cool.

Cyndy said...

Thanks, Whatsup! That water tower was smack in the middle of a gorgeous sunset I was trying to photograph one day and I just went with it. Scenic Wheaton was enthusiastic about it so the water tower photography became sort of a "thing" for a while. You'll see a few others if you look around a bit.

Scenic Wheaton said...

Hi Cyndy,
This was really touching. Kind of like going to my own funeral. I really appreciate it. I was surprised to find it.
I was riding my bike to work this morning and thought the big water tower behind Sniders looked unusually dramatic - and decided to catch up on your fun blog and came across a post on me! What a Tom Sawyer moment...
Well, I apologize first for taking it down with no notice.
I felt that maybe I was straddling too many topics on my blog and if I couldn't keep it consistent maybe I shouldn't be doing it... And I worried about people at work finding it. (I need my job). And, this is a poor excuse, but after my trip to Switzerland, my father got really sick. Not that I dropped everything to rush to his side. Mostly I was moping around and drinking a lot of beer and having a bad attitude about a lot of things in my life - and decided to stop the blog.
But I'm alive and well.
So is my father.
I was his bone marrow donor in March. Even though we don't normally get along well, my bone marrow took (so far). My father's white count shot back up and, this is weird, he converted to my blood type and went back to work. We talk on the phone almost every day and have a new relationship.
So, if anyone happens on this comment, if you find yourself asked to be bone marrow donor, do it!
And Cyndy, keep on blogging! Hope to run into you sometime at the Royal Mile.

Cyndy said...

Yaaay, you're still out and about! Thanks so much for commenting. I've missed reading your great posts, but I suspected that your reason for stopping might be at least partially work-related. There's really no telling, in spite of how positive a spin you might put on something, the extent to which certain statements might get accidentally misinterpreted by coworkers or be considered invasions of privacy or whatever.

So I'm extra glad I had the chance to become a reader of your blog when it was up and running. Your various adventures were so much fun to read about!

And that is so wonderful about your dad - from your donation, to the improved health, to your improved relationship with him.