the ‘water god’

As I think I’ve mentioned before, there is line of artistry in my family. At the family boatyard, you could walk around and see little touches of my Great-grandfather and Grandfather’s art. Carvings, paintings, gardening, building…

One of the ‘famous’ pieces is the water spigot down by the bulkhead. Either my Grandfather or Great-grandfather carved it. My aunt thinks it was my Great-grandfather. Here is it in it’s heyday:

carving of the 'water god' at Willard and Sons' Boatyard long ago - photo by John D. Willard V (c) 2013

carving of the ‘water god’ at Willard and Sons’ Boatyard long ago – photo by John D. Willard V (c) 2013

We all know things change over time, and eras end to make room for the future.

When the family boatyard was forced into a sale in 2006, a developer bought it. The house has sat vacant and empty, slowly weakening, taking its last and labored breaths since my grandfather passed away in 2004 and an era ended. The developer uprooted trees, bulldozed the infamously steep driveway, removed the fish pond, tore up bushes and cut down the fig trees.

The developer tried to get zoning permits to turn it into a completely commercial venture with jet-ski rentals and a high-end yacht club on our sleepy residential street. (The boatyard’s mixed residential/commercial zoning was grandfathered in sometime during the 1960s or 1970s.) When the developer’s requests were denied, he put the boatyard back up for sale.

It is incredibly eerie that some things remain, but painted different colors (like Hidee’s workshop). The cement/cinder block stairs still remain, but the surrounding foliage that would make a lush tunnel during summer is gone, leaving the stairs naked and vulnerable. The hillside of fig trees is chopped to the ground, but one sprout has stubbornly emerged, displaying four beautiful figs.

And the ‘water god’ is hidden under the ivy, like the ancient Mayan ruins in Guatemala, waiting to be re-discovered.

the 'water god' carved wooden statue, hidden under the ivy

the ‘water god’ carved wooden statue, hidden under the ivy – Emily A Willard (c) 2013

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4 responses to “the ‘water god’

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