Photo column: Picking up the pieces

By Gus Bode

I was happy the first time I saw my house after the May 8 storm.

Still in a slight state of shock after gathering on my friend’s College Street porch to watch Mother Nature try to force Carbondale’s Arbor District into a new name, I joined hundreds of fellow residents who walked the streets mesmerized.

Dumbfounded awe was a common trait in all the faces.


But as I ventured to my Poplar Street residence, I couldn’t help but smile.

Just days prior, I sat on my porch and told a friend how nice it would be if the large tree in my front yard weren’t blocking a perfect shooting range for a bags set.

Problem solved.

Other than my home’s lack of electricity (which returned days before that of many others) and the downed tree in my front yard (which the landlord took care of without me lifting a finger), the storm was for me a victimless crime.

If anything, I was better off. I had the likely long-lasting memory of the most awesome weather event I’ve witnessed and free range to sink bean bags in a wooden hole at the comfort of my home.

Hundreds of others, such as the owner of the truck pictured above, didn’t walk away so unscathed.

More than a month and a half later, many are still picking up the pieces.


The truck, still lodged in a parking lot off West College Street at press time Tuesday, is just one such piece that remains a constant reminder of that day’s events.

Now missing the tree that caused it to cave in, the truck reminds me of how fortunate I am every time I see it.

It reminds me that May 8 is more than a punch line to many people still suffering as a result of the storm and its aftermath.

It reminds me to think of others before myself, because I have been blessed with basically everything I need.

And it reminds me never to park in the path of a tree, regardless of how tempting the shade may be.