Story and Photos by Nancy Kirkpatrick
Our Town. As a resident of a nearby island, it may seem a stretch for me to refer to Brunswick – situated across the causeway on the Southeast coast of Georgia – as “our town”. But sometimes words must have their way and in this case, Brunswick is everybody’s “Our Town”.
Cherished historical buildings line the main street of Newcastle. Many with great architectural detail. Its Old Town residential and commercial district is the largest small town urban National Register of Historic Places district in Georgia. With this town as my destination, I set out with camera, a fresh battery and empty compact flash card packed in my car for the short drive across the causeway and into the heart of Brunswick.
Heading down Gloucester, I turned left on Newcastle and one block later pulled into a parking spot. Checking my camera settings, I climbed down, locked the car and scanned indecisively for something worthy. But much like an old time divining rod searching for water, my camera lens has a mind of its own. Soon it was picking out beautiful brick patterns, interesting doorways, details up high and down low. The blue sky and clouds supplying a just right urban backdrop.
For two hours I followed my camera’s lead. And in two hours I was chagrined to discover I had covered only two blocks. How could that be? Scrambling for time, feeling the 90 degree heat, I headed back to my car and the AC, the water bottle, the comfort I shamelessly rely on. Home I drove, back across the causeway and the green marshes, the waterways. Slightly nervous that I’d cut too short my foray. “There is serious wealth of subject and detail there yet to be captured”, I scolded myself.
Upstairs, with editing music selected and playing, I began my nervous upload. Watching as image after image sprang to its virtual height, I was amazed that in only two blocks there was so much. So much to save. So much to preserve. So much to love and protect.
With that thought, a recent conversation with a good friend who has lived near Miami for more than thirty years came to mind. I’d mentioned where I was headed for photos; that I loved the historical details in the buildings there and wanted to make sure I captured them for myself. He lamented that too many of Miami’s lovely buildings, its historical marvels, have been razed. Torn down indiscriminately. History replaced by the unimaginative.
I feel very fortunate that here, close to me, close to us, “our town” is still standing proud. Still has potential to stand proud. If I, you, they, all work together to lend that old fashioned hand of pride, we just might ensure that Brunswick remains the charming place that history made.
by Nancy Kirkpatrick
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