Today the theme for the weekly Photohunt, hosted by TNChick, is “Public”.
This was a difficult topic for me. I don’t really do a lot of photography in public spaces, and not only that, how exactly do you get across the concept in a picture? “Of or affecting the community or the people” is how Webster puts the first definition of the word.
So I thought about all the different things that could communicate that, and I started looking through my pictures. I found photos of massive works of public art I took when we were traveling in Portugal. This is looking down into the courtyard of the Monument to the Explorers at the map of the world worked in stone. Those are people with their umbrellas standing around on it.
I found an image of a street musician, performing in the public square while we were eating lunch.
But I think the next picture shows the concept of “public” best in my mind. This picture was taken in April, 2009 at a public ceremony held in our Civic Center. The group of people you see were being honored as “Hometown Heroes.” They were all being celebrated and feted for something that they did that was so outstanding that they were nominated by someone in the community for the honor. These were ordinary people. Some had acted as mentors to youth at risk, there was a couple who had founded the Red Cross Chapter in our community, a pair of young men who had saved a person’s life.
In other words, they had all positively affected the community in some way.
My mother is in the center of the group, in white. She was nominated by more than one person to honor her for her decades of volunteer service in the Literacy Council, tutoring dozens of people: teaching them to read, helping them become schooled enough to pass their Highschool Equivalency test and get a diploma. At the time of this award, she was 81 years old.
She is still tutoring people, by the way. At the present time, she has nine students weekly. I believe she is performing a valuable public service. And she does it because she genuinely cares about these people, not because she is getting any remuneration for it.
Now, go and see what other “public” offerings there are this week. You can find them here.