On the ground floor of a turn of the century commercial building in Hoquiam, Washington (a cultural landmark, ignored today but with a possible great future), in what was originally a plush lobby of a major bank, replete with Italian marble floor and polished redwood coamings, there is today an ad hoc museum of vintage curiosities for sale, a business operated by the owner of the building, a congenial man of about 50, who in his own better times, before the most recent economic crash, was an important professional before his budding IT company failed. An educated man, he is one of three sons of a dentist, who with his wife, a scientist, came to America from Hungary during the brief interval of freedom before Stalin sent the tanks. His son, now also out of work, is a Harvard MBA. He bought the building with his personal bonus after the IPO for the failed enterprise with the intention of restoring it to prominence. After the collapse of the real estate market, unable to sell the building because of an environmental issue he wasn’t aware of when he bought it, he began to use the former bank lobby to sell furnishings he’d imported from Hungary for his home, which is 30 miles away in the state capital. Through his many contacts with others trying to survive similar defaults, he branched out to help them liquify their wealth.
Ken is a good man, frank in his politely spoken, slightly midwestern accent. I liked him immediately when we met because he is curious about people in a way that only those who withhold judgment are able to be. There’s a comfortable steadiness in his composure and movements on which a film director could rely and he has a quietly witty, dry sense of humor, suggesting possibilities for the imagination of a writer.
About him and this building and this small town at the mouth of the Hoquiam river, at the base of the Olympic Peninsula, a rich panoply of stories may be imagined and during the 30 days I visited Hoquiam, I imagined a few that are suggested in images like the one above that I captured with my Canon digital camera.
So, here is this image, or scene, if you will, and in the story, we are, so far, introduced to a character, this man, whose name is Ken Myroslav, and his environment, and a few aspects of his history, his family, the town, including its geographic, political and cultural location, in fact a significant amount of detail, each of which is a pathway leading to a myriad possibilities. The story could go anywhere. But it doesn’t. Music could shape that.
My considerations regarding the music in this case might be: 1) to evoke a compassionate sense of this character and how he views his life in the fractal edge of time when this image was made, which could include his relationship to a person taking the picture that frames him; 2) the word spoken, action or image that immediately precedes this one and 3) the next thing that happens.