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April 23, 2005


 For a sleepy farming village, Jakub (Czech Republic)
can be a pretty dramatic place. John and I were there to
celebrate Mirek's birthday along with Mirek's son Jakub.
After scarfing a traditional Czech feast of soup, meats,
and sweety treats, Jakub, John, and I went for a walk. We
caught a tour of the church across the street, built in 1165,
where we badly played a 200-year-old footpump pipe organ.
Next door, a man in housing development watered his lawn
while a cat slept in the broken corner of an old building.
Swans and small birds were floating in a pond, then we
passed an abandoned building now inhabited by singing
gypsies whose clothes were hung out to dry. Photographing
a factory in process of being demolished, a dirty man with big
scary dog told me to stop because he didn't want trouble. The
location seemed perfect for illegal business so I put my camera
away without argument. Walking down a winding country road,
I used the last of my memory to video Jakub doing a wacky full
moon dance. No sooner had he finished with this flourish when
two fighter jets roared across the face of the moon, spewing red fire
out their tails. It sounded like the end of the world and probably is.