I wasn't totally alone. The towermen (and women) and the forest rangers coordinated things on the radio. And in the evenings, when the fire hazard was low, we would occasionally chat socially with each other. I was one of the most voluble. I remember quite often openly joking, theorizing, generally having fun with one or other of several towermen next door, usually female, without a care in the world. While an audience of unknown size listened in. Making their judgements. What does that say about shyness? For some reason, it doesn't seem to be people's minds that cause the anxiety, but their bodies! (Maybe it's just their body language? Or maybe it was me being the mental person I'm so much more confident being, or maybe...)
Anyway, here I am in the tiny kitchen/dining room/living room of my cabin at the base of the tower, having set the camera for ten seconds. (There was also a bedroom and an office.)
It was just a few days ago that I discovered this photo. I have no memory of taking it, or of seeing it later. So it was a very strange experience seeing me there looking out at me here now. Like encountering myself after going back in a time machine. What does he think? How does he see the world? I mean how do I.
There sure is a lot of difference between now and then. The tower was 100 feet high. I got so I could run up the ladder right to the top. Well, now I live on the 11th floor of an apartment building, which is just about exactly the same height, by coincidence, and I can still make it up the stairs non-stop, but only by walking fairly slowly, and because I do it several times a day for my exercise. I was 29 when I was flying up that tower, which is maybe prime time for most people, more or less. When both the body and mind are in optimal shape, and maybe the emotional life as well.
But for me, I was a bit slow maturing emotionally. Uh, quite. So my optimum came later. When I was in my 60's.