Crush break for two little hobos

Vankleek Hill brothers

That’s Victor, my son, with his older brother… I took this photo about twenty minutes after Victor had been stung by a bee for the very first time.

This was probably one of the worst days of his young life. It’d probably rank right up there with that one time when he was squeezed through his mom’s birth canal.

I watched it happen*. The bee landed on his collar, Victor heard it and tried to shrug it off, but when he lifted his shoulder he inadvertently pushed the bee into his ear. In the confusion it tried to crawl into his ear, which was when I finally arrived on the scene. As I yanked the poor little guy from the inside of my son’s head, it managed to leave its stinger, and half of its intestines, in Victor’s ear.

It took Victor about a minute to feel the pain. I pulled the stinger out right away, so I think he only got a minimal dose. But still, that shit hurts.

He stopped crying when I showed him the tiny bits of bee in my hand. I told him “It’s okay, bee’s dead.”, and for a week that was his favourite thing to say… “bee’s dead, daddy, bee’s dead.”.

*I was also there the time Victor was squeezed out of his mother… he really, really did not enjoy that.

…this is not a black and white photo. I almost never edit the photos I post here, but this one works so much better as a b/w. The problem with converting a colour image to “grayscale”, of course, is everything comes out grey. So I also messed with the ‘brightness / shadows / contrast’ settings to give the image a decent black to white range.

If I still had access to a darkroom I think the equivalent would have been closing the exposure settings by two or three stops.

…I think the boys look like survivors who still have a few miles to travel before they’re home.

Vankleek Hill Photos copyright

4 thoughts on “Crush break for two little hobos

    • Agreed… one of my favourite books is called “Ten Lost Years 1929-1939: Memories of Canadians Who Survived The Depression” (1973) by Barry Broadfoot, a Canadian reporter. He spent more than a year travelling across the country, interviewing people who survived the Great Depression… the book is their stories, in their words. It’s incredibly fascinating, with the most powerful stories of survival you can imagine. Especially the stories involving the kids…

      If I was being honest with myself, when I was writing this post, I would have said something about how this photo makes the boys look like the kids from the book… too old, too wise, too far to walk, and just content to have something.

      Anyway… I wrote something about the book, and included a few excerpts, so if you’re interested: [link: here]

      Thanks for the comment…


      • Thank you. I read the excerpts and found them very interesting. Enough so that I will be reading the books. Thank you for blogging about Barry Broadfoot and his books.


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