The day that a friend from San Diego left to return home after a wonderful visit, the Waldo Canyon Fire attacked Colorado Springs. She and I were just concluding a fabulous tour of the Yves St. Laurent exhibit at the Denver Art Museum (oh so cool if you did not see it) when my cell phone buzzed. It was my daughter calling from The Springs. She was animated beyond normal, sharing that a fire had begun above the area where she lives, in Manitou Springs. I dropped my friend at DIA and booked for home. The following seven days terrorized the Front Range. Temperatures broke all records, topping 100 most days. We watched the flanks of the Rocky Mountains spew smoke in daylight and glow in the darkness.
Our daughter evacuated from her area the first day and decided to remain with us, even after the evacuation for Manitou was lifted. She lives in the dormer rooms of an old Victorian house, no AC, windows that barely work with no screens. Needless to say, the jitters over a possible firestorm down that canyon combined with the stifling conditions pointed to hunkering down in our basement room where it is cool. We were tuned to KKTV all day long, watching the progress of the fire. I started a quilt for somebody. It turned out that I was able to give it to a little girl, Emma, who had her first birthday on June 26th, the day that the fire burned the home in which her family was living. Her parents were on TV spots nation wide. I thought it would be a nice thing, for Emma, to know that people were thinking about her and her family on that day, even though she may be too young right now to really grasp the situation. This quilt will be a possession that anchors the memory and supports the story, for her. I wish her family well in coping with their displacement and the same to each of those who lost both homes and personal possessions.
I include only a few pictures to give an idea of the scene. Only one was taken by me and that is the sunset, streaked with the fire’s red and gold. The others came from various sources, some from the Gazette, some from individuals who posted them, and some from Associated Press, in particular photographer Carolyn Kaster. I tried unsuccessfully to gain permission to post her photos and so I here give her credit.
The fire fighters became our heroes.