When I was a kid the only way to listen to new music for free was by tuning into a local radio station, like 102.7 KFRX or 106.3 The Blaze. It was a simpler time, and one I look back on with a great deal of fondness, though I suppose it’s probably on par with the rose-colored lenses through which most adults view their childhoods. (If I were to be shot back in time, Marty McFly-style, I would probably miss out on a lot of the modern conveniences we have today. But that’s not really how nostalgia works, is it?) Every few songs there would be a series of commercials, and for a good stretch of time one of those commercials was for something called a Hearts on Fire diamond from a local outfit called Sartor Hamann Jewelers. I don’t remember any specifics about the ad, or the diamond, or anything really other than the somewhat lispy host, possibly the owner or the founder of the business, who would go on about how sure you could go somewhere else to get your loved on a boring normal everyday diamond, but only Sartor Hamann had the Hearts on Fire diamond which was extra finely-cut, or ultra-rare, or exquisitely-set, or…something. Who knows. Not me, that’s for sure. But the commercial, and the odd-sounding name (Why would someone want to set someone’s heart ablaze?) stuck with me over the years, which I suppose is probably the mark of a good advertising campaign. Well done, Mr. Hamann. You win this round.
When I was at the OSU Botanic Garden recently with my family and some friends I came across this crystal heart, hanging by a rusty chain, not far from where a pair of kodama were keeping watch over the grounds. Though the heart was made of plastic and certainly not on fire, it brought me back to my high school days in the blink of an eye and all I could think about was that incessant radio ad. It’s interesting how things happen like that–one minute you are going about your business, but then you smell something, hear a noise, see a picture, or stumble across an object and you are instantly transported elsewhere with all manner of memories flooding back if even for just a fleeting moment.
I don’t want to read too much into this–it’s a plastic heart hanging from a tree, after all–but it was a fun little trip down memory lane and I’m glad I could capture the moment with my camera. I shot this at f/8 and was quite pleased with how everything turned out: the blurry background, the sharp vertices, and the colors of the garden flowers reflecting off the facets. And though this was a neat little photo to take I did not tarry long, as I wanted to put the camera down and get back to my wife, our kids, and our friends who were busy making memories of their own. And I wanted to be a part of them.