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By Flood Waters Dan Cavallari

By Flood Waters

Dan Cavallari

Published December 2nd 2011
ISBN :
Paperback
28 pages
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 About the Book 

Many of us create moments simply so we can remember them later. We document such moments with photographs- postcards- letters to family- souvenirs- mementos. Later on, when the ever-present reminder that life never relents jostles its way into theMoreMany of us create moments simply so we can remember them later. We document such moments with photographs- postcards- letters to family- souvenirs- mementos. Later on, when the ever-present reminder that life never relents jostles its way into the forefront of a crowded mind, we often take solace in those memories and the objects to which we have assigned those memories. It’s no real great trick of the ages- it is simply an effort to recall the past without having to dwell on the disappointment of knowing we can’t actually go back.But what happens when we no longer have those mementos, those photos and those postcards? Do the memories diminish? Do they pack up and leave for that ethereal world between the walls of our homes, the hidden corners in the basement? Of course, we always have the actual memory to cling to, nestled in the file folders in our minds, but what about the people who weren’t there for those memories, that distant time when people lived life differently? What do they do?On August 19, 1955, the city of Waterbury, Connecticut found itself drowning in the deluge of flood waters that swept the Naugatuck Valley. On that day, known as Black Friday, property loss grew to seemingly insurmountable sums, but eventually the town recovered. Some folks lost their lives, but most simply moved on. While the city’s mind and heart had been strained and bent, they never broke. Waterbury suffered, recovered, and kept on.But the flood had taken something greater than property, damaged something more important than buildings: it had swept away those basement boxes full of photos, those bags full of old souvenirs, those envelopes full of postcards and wish-you-were-heres. For my family, the flood meant the demise of so many memory-triggers: my grandfather’s high school diploma- my grandmother’s wedding photos- old telegrams from World War II- family photos and heirlooms. The flood took them all and swept them downstream in the Mad River.Consequently, I never saw any of those old photos or mementos growing up. Instead, my brother and I relied on the stories my grandparents told and the clouding-at-the-edges memories our parents told to us around the dinner table or at Christmas time by the fireplace. We knew these stories had to be true, and we loved hearing them (over and over, in most cases), but for some reason they always felt somewhat evanescent, as though at any moment they might float off into the sky simply because they lacked any anchor to keep them in place. My brother and I had heard about the old house on North Leonard Street, but we had never seen it. We had no picture of it, no real idea of where it had actually been. And so it remained only an idea, not an actual place where lives formed and reformed, then reformed again.Which leads us, of course, to this book you hold in your hands.As the title suggests, this book is a sort of homage to that soggy month back in 1955 in which all those memories bobbed down the current in the Mad River. We can’t regain that time or those memories, but we can create our own- we can define and refine our own voices to create a comprehensive history in the form of words and stories, snapshots and paintings, or any other medium available to us in a new media age. By Flood Waters is an opportunity to create a story comparable only to those passed down through the voices of previous generations, those washed away leaving only the residue for us to interpret.So take and find out what story imagination can create- imagine what you might be able to do if given the opportunity to create—or re-create—what time had caused to become a mere blurred-at-the-edges memory…