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The bell

August 20, 2010 - Dennis Spalvieri

I pride myself on having good news judgment, usually. Sometimes, though, you miss one. I call it the Nagy mistake. (Last week, I mistakenly called it the Thompson mistake. Which I guess is another Nagy mistake.)
Anyway, I missed one last week, big time, when a house across the street from the Burchfield Homestead Museum in Salem burned down.
The house was old, vacant. What made it special, though, was it was the subject of a few paintings by Charles Burchfield. The famed artist painted the house from his bedroom window in the early 1900s.
Our photographer, Patti Schaeffer, did her usual stellar work. Patti lives for breaking news.
The photo I used for the main art on the front page was a good one. Flames, smoke, a firefighter on a ladder.
Still, it was a photo similar to a lot of good fire photos.
The one I missed, the one I ran on an inside page, was the real masterpiece. Patti was inside the museum, at the very window in which Burchfield sat when he painted the picture. It showed the painting, and through the open window you could see the house ablaze.
The Burchfield Society thought so much of the photo that it plans to hang the picture next to the Burchfield picture in the museum.
But I missed it.
You can't unring a bell.



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