October Week 5 – Seeing Orange: Parts of the Past

Oct 5 - DoorHandle WEBThis morning I asked the people of the herchurch community if they knew the proper liturgical color for the day. For an answer to this question we usually look to our organist whose shirt color is always in tune with the church calendar. Although his shirt was red, the congregation shouted: “Orange, go Giants.” Even a feminist congregation roots for the home team.

Steve wore red because many Lutheran congregations observe Reformation Day on this last October Sunday. This week’s photo images portray neither a liturgical nuance nor a cheer for the home team in the World Series. They are for the most part orange/red as a result of rust and peeling auto paints.

Rusting John Deers and Ford pickups abandoned in fields and collapsing barns seem to proclaim as much a sense of Americana as baseball. Each spring a hinge and bolt stands at attention, giving salute to the ingenuity of an era almost gone by.

Oct 5 - Spring WEBThese little parts remind me of my grandfather, Seneca Ray Deuel. He had bins and coffee cans filled with every little nut, screw, spring, tube, wire and electrical fixing collected over a life-time.

Ray, as his friends and family called him, was an electrician for the General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York, when GE was at its heyday in that location along the famed Eire Canal. Then he went on to own the first TV repair shop in town. He refurbished all kinds of appliances, and, if he didn’t have the needed part, he just welded stuff together to create a part better than the original.

As a kid I loved being in my grandfather’s workshop. Huge TV tubes the size of pumpkins were always hooked up to some kind of electrical gizmo that determined if they were receiving or giving electrical currents. It was like being on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, and I was right next to the “captain,” or “Pop,” as I called him. Yikes, that dates me.

Oct 5 - TractorSeat WEBI don’t know if my grandfather was named for the town of Seneca or for the Native Americans whose trails wind through the land of his birth. What I do know is that my grandfather’s name sake is a most beautiful portion of New York State, between what is known as the Finger Lakes. Today, much of that town still looks like it did in its founding days in the late 1700s. So what is a little rust when we can trace our heritage through centuries?

Or maybe Seneca Ray Deuel was named after Seneca Falls where you find the Women’s Rights National Historical Park which preserves the sites associated with the 1848 first Women’s Rights Convention and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Here you immerse yourself in the lives of great American women, past and present. Their vision is not confined to the struggle of bygone years, but a continuing call to vigilance as we work together for both the equal rights amendment and the promotion of women in every field.

Orange/red today is for Seneca – (almost) my home team.  Photos:  Door handle and shadow on  an old pickup, four inch spring ribbon-ed in rust and an edge of a tractor seat.


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