Backyard: 13 x 45", digital inkjet print, 2009 (google map image)

 

The police helicopter was probably circling overhead because our sprinklers were running and it was not a Monday or Thursday. It also wasn't after 4 p.m.

Years before the upper terrace contained a strawberry patch and sometime around then too, a softball had whizzed over the wall hitting me squarely on my head.

Too bad, but the copter's back blade disengaged, separating into two pieces each turning in unison, trailing after the helicopter a few seconds before it started plummeting.

The helicopter crashed where the swingset would have been, where Neil almost strangled, his face beet red from our dumb game with all the string. Droves of officers and
relatives filed into the yard.

This was really all my dad's fault — he had died such a long time ago he didn't know the new rules about watering.