I was prepared: three lights, one camera, two batteries, a tripod and an entire audio kit. On the other hand, the house I went to was not prepared. Well, at least that is how it seemed in the beginning.
The first plug I attempt to attach the light cord to has only two holes. I stopped for a moment and tilted my head. Interesting.
“Joyce?” I ask, rising from the floor. The small, white-haired lady looks up from where she is nestled into a big, red chair. “Have any plugs with three holes?”
After some finagling and long extension cords, everything is ready. And Joyce glows in the spotlights.
We sat in her yellow house, next to an analog television that no longer worked. The plugs were a reminder her home was built by her and her husband in the 1950s, having to be updated as time went on. There are no lights hanging from the ceiling, the family room where we interviewed lit mostly by the big, front window.
Joyce and I sat for about an hour, talking about Haslett and how it has changed over time. She would answer my questions in a paced manner, thinking long before she spoke. It was the small, short snipits that were the best: how the adults would go to the amusement park just to ride the Dodgem Cars; her involvement in the Haslett women’s club that has been around since 1905; and just the way she laugh as well as the spark in her eye when she remembered a bit of history few would know.
Stepping out into the spring day, loaded down with equipment and new information to sort through, I breathed in and smiled. Walking past a metal bird feeder, I knew it would soon be getting some company.
Spring is a time of new and of life. However, it is also a time of revealing. The snow melts away, showing what was lost over the winter. I cannot help but think my documentary is like spring unfolding on Meridian Township: I am slowly melting away the years that have accumulated on this corner of Michigan, revealing the rich history underneath.