Friday, December 06, 2013
Norman and Edwin Bluemien - A Picture of Two Men
I am in a hotel, checking emails, when I look up and see a picture directly over the desk. The photo looks to have been originally in a news paper and is of two elderly men in wheelchairs sitting on their farm in front of a barn and silo. There is a caption under the photo which gives their names and ages, Norman 87 and Edwin 84.
I am in a wheelchair accessible room, of course, and seeing this here intrigues me - a lot.
Was this part of the decor selected BECAUSE this is a wheelchair accessible room?
Was this just a funny coincidence?
On my part, I liked it being here. I like the idea that it was planned, not an accident. As a wheelchair user I find the picture of these too men fascinating. Edwin, the younger brother, is up front leaning back, lounging almost in his wheelchair, he's wearing a Detroit Red Wings baseball cap smiling into the camera. His older brother is sitting a little more 'portrait primly' in his pose. He too is looking straight at the camera, smiling. There is a real casualness in this photo. Both of them look completely comfortable with being who there are, where they are and how they are.
I've been in hundreds, maybe thousands, of hotel rooms. Many are like this one, decorated with a 'ye olde times' theme. For seven years my rooms have always been wheelchair accessible. In all that time I've never seen any social indicator of disability in a room I've stayed in. I'd never even thought about it before now.
I think it's cool.
What do you think?