While attending Sistersville High School's Alumni activities this year, Bill Breneman took the accompanying photo of SHS and wrote the following poem about the experience.
Breneman attended Sistersville High School until it closed in 1993. He graduated in 1994 from Tyler Consolidated High School. Owner of Bill Breneman Photography, he has promoted his portfolio for residential and commercial use. His images have been featured in newspapers, books, calendars, annuals, programs, magazines, and various professional promotional pieces as well as websites, CDs, festivals, and galleries. This image and hundreds of others are available for purchase in customizable merchandise, prints, or beautiful, wall-ready artwork formats from his website, www.brenemanphoto.com. For questions and comments, please contact Breneman directly at 971-732-2690 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
That Special Place
With a hushed step I trod the aged bricks of home;
black cinder gravel of former workout days
amongst ever-growing grass and weeds.
Cracks loom larger as the years-ravaged facade
of the old building nearest
held within those aged walls
for only those aware enough to identify.
As I push open the rusted gate to The Jungle
time stands still;
the voices of yesteryear flood my head -
impossible to ignore.
Step upon step and down the steps I go,
retracing paths long-ago commuted
with friends, lovers and soul mates -
all distant, scattered by Father Time.
The field is ragged and rough -
those ever-present weeds slowly reclaiming
glory days of days and days gone by -
inexorably quieting the rush and grunts of warriors
who earned it here.
Yes - they earned it here.
The field of football, friends and fight
clings to an ever-rusting history;
the low moans and squeaks of ancient hinges
punctuate the stillness.
I'm to the end zone now,
the remnants of Tiger Pride surround me.
And there she is, at a distance beautiful -
noble and formidable,
filled with stubbornness and fragility.
She looks so good from here - and here she is,
as tears begin to flow.
Suddenly, a tremendous rush of wind blows over me -
the power undeniable, aimed squarely upon my position.
It all makes sense.
"I'm trying", I cry out loud to the ghosts,
their collective breath enveloping me from all sides.
And with that, my hands find the legs to the tripod
and I seize the day.
The tripod placed firmly upon the ground,
camera locked on and zoomed in,
I'm focused now - there are no distractions,
as my charter is clear to me.
*Click* and *Click* and *Click click* the camera responds,
as I make love to the moment.
Most wouldn't understand, and that's fine with me.
There are others who know - deep within their souls,
the tender task before me.
It seems so simple and mindless,
making pictures of a building -
it's there, on a beautiful day,
and you shoot it with a few *clicks* of the shutter release.
But this is different.
I was told what to do, why it mattered, who it was for -
the ghosts of yesteryear rushing about me,
validating the exercise.
I'm finished now,
the images secure within the frame
and I collect my gear to leave.
As I leave I gaze back quietly -
having logged one more memory here -
I feel better,
all of the miles being worth it.
As my circle is completed,
I leave The Jungle
a better man than when I entered.