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  • The event of this photograph is one of my earliest memories. I am the little boy in this picture. My dad took this picture with his Kodak camera after church one spring day. The camera encased in a brown leather jacket was rarely brought to church so I guess my dad brought it that day with a plan. What was his plan? Was it to photograph his family next to this place where tailings from Diamond Chemicals poured into a wetland? For what cause?

    There are details I remember. Both my brother and I are wearing Davy Crockett T-shirts. On the way home we drove past our house on Argonne Drive, past Levada Lenard's house, past Stubby and Bo Bo's, past the Nagy's German shepard dog to the end of our street. There the street ended in a T.

    Missing the stop sign would plop you into the Soup Pond. A couple of years on my legs and it would be an easy bike ride.

    At the end of the street we turned left and drove past the big buckeye tree - and where the street makes a sharp left we took a right turn down a grassy dirt road. We kids were riding in the back seat of a black Ford. The car stopped. It was a two door so the front passenger seat folded forward. Sometimes there were coins caught in the seat jam... I always looked. A strap on the post between the windows was a favorite place to grab. One hand on the folded seat, one hand on the strap, two feet hop, and solid ground. Then we posed and rifled back into the car. There was no lingering and no picnic lunch.

    So why did he take the picture? He worked at the Diamond as a chemical engineer. Went to school on the GI bill and stopped short after his masters degree and moved to Painesville to grow his family. His job was to work with a team and design chemical processes for the plant. He made Crab Grass Killer and substitute Chlorine in swimming pools. He worked on catalytic converters for cars. Clorowax was his invention. In the late 60's he was on the team who created Agent Orange.

    So why this picture? Was it pride? Was it for a presentation to show how much he trusted the safety of the Soup Pond? Was it just the opposite?

    Was it just something he wanted to do?
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