How ‘Bout That

July 8, 2010 by  
Filed under How 'Bout That

“The Pinwheels of my Mind”

by Junie Merkle

by Junie Merkle

In 1994, post divorce, my first husband and I flew to California to visit his son and granddaughter.  Have chance, Will travel has always been my motto.  Thank goodness this platonic trip went better than the marriage.   Most of the specifics have faded from memory (probably a good thing) except for my first sighting of a field of wind turbines.  I still see them in my mind’s eye…they looked like giant pinwheels blowing in the wind…and it was magical.

If you’re not sure what a pinwheel is, you’re probably young, thin, without age spots, and I don’t want to stand next to you.  But I will educate you from a distance.  According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a pinwheel is a toy consisting of vanes of colored paper or plastic pinned to a stick so that they revolve when blown on by you or by the wind.

Fast Forward to 2010. A proposal to harness wind power in Memorial Park for City Hall is met with some skepticism.  I am math challenged so will recuse myself on the cost issues.  With my usual intuitive clarity (is intuitive clarity even possible?), I would like to address two of the more subjective concerns, realizing all may be resolved by the time this reaches print.

Is it just me … am I alone in thinking that that using green space in the park for the wind turbine seems to be a good use of green space?  Aware that my reasoning processes probably are not yours (my husband will be glad to discuss this with you because sometimes they are not his either), I just can’t shake this feeling.

As for unsightly, I’m envisioning a giant, painted wind turbine blowing high in the sky, and I’m liking it.  A work of art, if you will, by some SCAD students or local artists who are not afraid of heights.  I had this vision a few weeks ago on the Ferris Wheel. No one offered to accompany me, and I felt slightly ridiculous (a common feeling) digging out every bit of change from my purse for the, gasp, $5 ticket.  It was almost closing time and the operator (a man with a tired but kind face) told me he could not turn the Big Wheel unless he had two riders.  After about ten minutes, whether out of pity or just a wish for me to go away, he said, ‘Come on.”  And up I went, alone and invincible in the sky. I saw the ocean, the horizon, the roof tops, the lighthouse, the big water tower… and Tybee in the future with brightly colored wind turbines high and proud, freeing us up from air, water, and soil pollution.

So there you are. It just feels right.
I hope we do it.

Until next month,

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