Checking the news around my old hometowns on the internet is a good way pass the time on slow days here at work. Today, I went to peruse the happs in ol' Gainesville, FL and found this headline: Fire ravages abandoned building. Thankfully nobody was killed or even hurt as the vacant building went up--a sacfrifice to the student ghetto gods. In fact, several of the locals seem to have enjoyed the spectacle in typical Gainesville fashion, by turning it into a party.
As firefighters tore out the windows of the flaming house, college students with beer cans in hand watched from their carports and back yards. Alex Vranescu, who lives in a house near the one that burned, watched as firefighters prodded and sprayed the still-smoldering house. "I walk outside with a drink and I'm like, bro, check that out!" he said. "The whole tree right there just went woosh."
It was only on my after I'd moved on in my news cruise that the address of the house sounded familiar. I re-loaded the page, Googled the address and, sure enough, I knew that place. It was a house right across the street from a little apartment I spent a year in almost nine years ago now. In the main picture below the headline you can see my old front door beyond a charred wall frame, all lit up beneath the house's crime-fighting spotlight. That goddamned light probably kept more than a few crackhead, would-be burglars at bay with its day-into-night illumination prowess. Which I appreciated even if it gave the constant feeling that a hi-beamed SUV was parked just outside the window. Ahh, Gainesville.