I recently talked to Shane Grammer, an artist who grew up in nearby Chico and has worked on installations at Disneyland, Universal Studios and Legoland. Now based in Los Angeles, he said he started to see images of the destruction posted by people he knew.
“The fire didn’t really hit home for me until friends I grew up with started posting on Facebook,” he said. “It’s not devastation where in six months, everything’s going to be normal.”
Nicole Weddig felt a strange sense of calm as she stood in the driveway, her gaze fixed on the wall.
She did not expect to ever again find peace in this town, where all that was left of her home was ash, rubble and rusted metal, the front steps that lead to nowhere, and the patchwork of singed stone.
Yet it was comforting to see her daughter’s portrait rendered delicately on the wall, her little profile squinting up into the trees, wisps of fine hair floating away from her face as if with the wind.