“He who warned, uh, the…the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and um by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that uh we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free…and we were gonna be armed.”
One of the places everyone tells you to visit when you are in Seattle is the “abandoned” coal conversion plant once owned by the Seattle Gas Light Company. Back in the early 1900s, workers would convert coal harvested from the ground into crude oil. Contrary to what many people think, Gas Works Park wasn’t an old natural gas processing plant. In fact, it was the natural gas boom in the 1950s that made this plant obsolete.
My dad actually used to work for a company called Syntroleum in Oklahoma that did something similar, only they converted coal into clean-burning diesel. Fun fact huh?
With natural gas becoming a viable replacement for crude oil, or so they thought, in the 1950s, the plant fell dormant. In the 1960s the city of Seattle converted the old rusty plant into a tetanus-free park.
Sitting at the banks of Lake Union, from the park you can watch sailboats cruise through the water and seaplanes taking off and landing (which is super cool). Just, whatever you do, won’t swim in the water around the park, or eat certain fish from the water around there. Apparently it’s toxic. Oops.
Ryan and I picked up the makings of a picnic and enjoyed some quiet time together having lunch in the park, followed by a leisurely stroll through the structures and greens around them. The park was full of dogs running after frisbees, a couple getting their engagement photos taken, cyclists riding and other people shamelessly copying Ryan and my picnic idea. The photo at the very top is the kite hill. A hill where people, you guessed it, fly kites.
And there you have it. a post about Gas Works Park that features absolute zero photos of the actual “gas works” of the park. We’ll save that for next time.
My friend Stacy bought this photo at an antique store and shared it with me last night. It is an amazing photo of a gay couple in the late 1800s in America. These two guys, presumably, paid a photographer to set them down in front of a tintype camera and shoot a photo of their love and intimacy.
Yes, an out, gay couple in America over one hundred years ago. Incredible. It definitely gives me hope and the strength to be out and proud in a modern America. Yes, I can’t get married, share employment benefits or adopt (easily) a child, but if these two guys were able to live their lives together, in America, two hundred years ago, I sure can!
It should be inspiration for anyone, not just in the LGBT community but anyone who faces adversity, bigotry and challenges in this modern day America. Which I’m pretty sure is all of us.
I hope this aside from my usual blog post has given you a little hope to overcome whatever obstacle finds its way into your path.
UPDATE: Since so many people have claimed this to be a fake, which is first offensive to me and second offensive to the purpose of this post, here is the original scan, untouched by Photoshop. The original image above was cleaned up in Photoshop to repair some of the damage 100+ years can have on a photo, I ran a “remove dust and scratches”, adjusted curves and uploaded that photo to Flickr. I personally scanned this file in using an Epson Perfection Scan V750 Pro at 4800dpi. It’s a 1.27gb scan at well over 12000 pixels wide when at 300dpi. I have downscaled it to 4800 pixels wide at 300dpi for this post but have done nothing else to it.
I’m not sure why so many people on Twitter and Facebook, especially one from an equality group would cast aspersions, call this a fake.
My professor who dated, preserved and revived photos like these for museums looked at my scan and said he has no reason to believe it isn’t the real deal, that the problems with the photo, the eyes, the focus, the peeling and deterioration all are elements of proof it is a legitimate image. Hopefully we will have it in class on Monday for him to examine in person. Meanwhile, here are 12 tintype images I found on the Internet all ranging from 1860-1920. Notice the similar wear, the oxidation, corrosion, rust, scratches, peeling, the backgrounds, the density, the gradations of light, the compression of the lens and the varying clarity and focus.
Saturday, after picking up my new iPhone 3G, Ryan, my dad and I met up with my mom at the Valencia Hotel on the Riverwalk. From the hotel we walked down to the water to get some tapas. They were tasty and the view was great. I had not been to the Riverwalk in quite some time.
After the snack we took a stroll down to the Alamo and other similar sites.
We've Certainly Got Direction
We passed my great grandfather’s pharmacy and the old zoo that was indoors, like in a building downtown… how crazy. If the bears got loose… holy shit!