This is Steve Wishnevsky’s guitar shop. He took this photo himself while watching it burn early yesterday morning.
And I know how this feels.
In 2000, I lost my apartment building and everything I owned to fire. I was only thirty miles away, pet-sitting for a friend. Thankfully, I had my own dog with me. A friend who lived around the corner called to tell me not to come and watch, it was as good as gone. Instead of watching live, I saw it on the news a couple hours later as firemen were going in my front door. The loss was devastating, even life-altering, but survivable.
I had no money to replace things and no insurance. And neither does Steve.
I’ll always remember that smell of charred – everything. It’s very different than the scent of a fire fueled solely by wood, coal, rubber, or other flammable materials. And it’s one ‘ll never forget.
The next day I stepped through the rubble and ash in the same manner I would a decrepit burial ground, with reverence. I now store irreplaceable items in a fire safe because gone is gone. Physical things can be replaced, but intellectual property and paper cannot.
I’m acquainted with Steve as a member of Winston Salem Writers. He’s a history buff and great writer. His loss hurts my heart, not just out of empathy, but because my soon-to-be-released book is about guitar players. His guitars and other stringed instruments are pure works of art, created with deep love and appreciation. He will continue, as best he can. Because when a creative spirit is fueled by passion, no matter what obstacles may slow them down, nothing stops them.
You can help Steve at: http://www.gofundme.com/mmr1a4