Waterfire, June 1, 2024

I first went to Waterfire shortly after starting to work in Providence. My coworkers were talking about it, so when there was a Friday Waterfire scheduled, I decided to stick around for it.

I often went while I was working in Providence, but less so once I stopped. At some point, I asked Mum if she’d like to go; she was always good for tagging along, and it turned out she enjoyed it too.

The first full lighting of the year was last Saturday night, and I decided to go, despite the fact that I’d been up late the night before and I was dead tired. It was the first time I relied solely on the iPhone for photography.

Michael Grando in 2007

In previous years, there was a character, “Pierrot”, who stood in a little boat and handed out carnations to people lining the sides of the river. Michael Grando, who played him, died last winter. To remember him, during the earlier part of the presentation, his boat went up and down the river with his costume on a pole, in memory of him, and then, as the night wore on, his daughter took over, as a new character, “Pierrette”, handing out flowers.

I did what I usually do — started at Providence Place Mall, waited for the fires to be lit, then walked along the river to the end. When I got to the place where they were putting out luminaria, I bought one in memory of Mum.

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