Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Pyramid of Fire, 1929; watercolor on paper, 24 1/2 x 32 7/8 inches (Frame: 30 5/8 x 38 1/8 x 1 7/8 inches); Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of Charles Rand Penney, 1994
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, April 9, 1953
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
My birthday – 60 years old! A record and a sweet note from Bertha (the Pain Symphony, of Mozart, coupled with Schubert’s 8th). A nice card from Evie & Bob.
In the afternoon I summoned up enough energy to make a wooden mat from same 5/16” material I recovered today from the lumber mill. Warm & pleasant to be working outdoors on it. In the midst of it, a huge column of black smoke to the S.W. caught my eye, and I rushed in to ask Bertha if she wanted to go & see what it was. She was all for it & we were soon on our way.
It proved to be an oil-dump along the railroad (junction of the Penna. RR & N.Y. Central) south of the Indian Church Rd. Bridge. We parked off the road near the top and had a fine spot to view it from. An awe-inspiring fascinating sight; the sullen red of burning oil forcing its way up into the black smoke mass. It was interesting to see a telegraph pile just outlined in bluish white smoke, then suddenly burst into flame. All the towns six companies were out, and they fought it with chemicals – when it was evident that they were bringing at under control, we left.
My birthday supper – baked beans with pork, fresh pineapple, and for dessert, fresh strawberry pie & ice-cream. We had invited Mart & Hank & the children over for dessert. The latter came in with great excitement over “birthday doings” – M & H gave me two pair of shorts & a box of salted nuts, & Mart made a nice drawing as a greeting. A pleasant time.
Charles E. Burchfield, April 9, 1953