2 Brothers, 1 vision... 0 sight

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We all decided to get up extra early this morning and capture the sun coming up and some scenes around the homestead. We drove done to the Grovetown Trails at Euchee Creek, a park-ette/running path a couple of miles from the house and enjoyed the sun rise.

This was the earliest we had been up on the entire trip, the one day when we WEREN’T driving a long distance that day, and we are up at 6 AM!

We spent several hours there and got some great footage, and we wrapped and decided to treat ourselves to breakfast, so it was off to the Huddle House!! For those who don’t know, Huddle House is a slightly more highbrow Waffle House. For those who don’t know what a Waffle House is, come on down to the South, y’all!

After a big breakfast and talk of what was left to capture for the film, we headed back to the house to rest up a bit and record some audio for looping, which is some sort of technical movie jargon. They wouldn’t really explain it to me, but I think it is like sampling, so I have been listening to a lot of Rap since we got done to see if I am due royalties!

After we got all that done, we headed for what they call the Martini Shot, the last shot of the film, which would probably also be the most exhausting emotionally for Tod and I. Mum had arranged for both of us to be seen by the same ophthalmologist, here in Augusta, the one who had diagnosed Tod with CHM last year. She had made appointments for us at the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Augusta.

This place was like a Conglomo – A multi-story office building seeming dedicated to eyeballs, it was pretty cool. We filled out our paperwork and were ushered back into two adjoining rooms, where we would go through a few eye tests for the crew to film, and then we would talk to Dr. Fechter. Much to both Tod and my joy, they would be administering the Visual Fields Test.

Now the Visual Fields Test is very simple; you sit with your head in a giant sideways bowl, with your forehead and chin in these holders, staring a white or orange or red light directly ahead of you in the center of the bowl, with one eye covered, and you have to click a button on a remote every time you see a white light of varying intensity appear in your periphery. The trick is that you can’t look away from that white/orange/red light in the center of the bowl. Now let’s add on to it that the light you are staring at and the light you are “looking” for are not the only lit things, the interior of the bowl is also softly lit, which makes it harder to see the white light of varying intensity in your periphery. After a few minutes of staring at the light and holding the remote, I told the tech that she could start the test. There was silence from everyone. Apparently, they HAD started the test and I was just not seeing anything.

I still argue that, despite the fact that I know I can’t see that well, I did worse on that test, because of the extra light in the bowl making it harder for me to know when I actually saw the white light of varying intensity. One of the things I noticed about both this test and the Dark Adaptation test is the potential for false positives. I am staring at this light and occasionally a light flashes in my periphery, my mind starts to tell me that I am seeing these flashes. Maybe I am, or maybe it is like when you look at a light and then you look away and you still see it. So a lot of times, I was not confident to click the button on the remote. That is not an excuse, but if the bowl was dark, I would definitely see the white lights in my periphery.

Regardless, Tod and I finished up the test and the results were processed and taken to Dr. Fechter, who came in and talked to us about the results, which pretty much greatly surprised everybody. It was filmed, and it will be in the movie, so I will not spoil what happened, but it will probably be the scene that clinches us the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2012.

After we finished up with Dr. Fechter, and thanked them all for staying open late to work with us, and we made our way out to the parking lot. Brian and the crew needed to get back to the real world and as sad as it was to think about, so did Tod and I. We talked about whether or not the crew would stay another night and head out in the morning or not, and they decided to hit the road that night and try to get some road covered before calling it a night. So we hugged good bye, and made sure that everyone had all their stuff, and then watched as the crew van crested the hill and slipped out of sight, like we were watching the sunset on our film.

Tired and a little sad, Tod and I went back to the Purvirosa, to tell our parents about the doctor’s visit and to prep for the last leg of our journey together: Getting home to DC.

Monday, October 11, 2010

When Tod and I woke up this morning, we heard from the crew that they had driven into the night and were basically at our parent’s house and that we should hurry up and get on the road to get to them.

We showered, packed up, gassed up and hit the road. The GPS decided to keep us off of the major roads to get to the Purvis Homestead, and I have to say, when you only have three hours of driving in a day, it makes the scenery so much more beautiful. We trotted down back roads, and country highways, and Tod started to get hungry, so we pulled off at what was apparently the only restaurant on all of these stretches of road; R & D’s Seafood Steaks & More, in Sylvania, GA.

Picture this: a lonely stretch of country road (taking us home – oh John Denver), lined with pine trees, huge wheels of hay, barns, and silos. And then out of nowhere, BAM, a gravel parking lot, a neon sign in the window and a VFW/Elks Lodge Hall looking building. How could we not stop!?
You know that part in the movie, when the foreigner walks into the bar, and the music stops and everyone turns and stares? Well, it’s based in truth, because that was what happened when we walked in there. Luckily, we weren’t run out of town on a rail or anything, we actually got fed, buffet style! The food was okay, typical buffet, a la Sizzler, or Golden Corral, and it was pretty inexpensive - $7 apiece, including drink.

We got a call from Brian seeing where we were, and we finished up eating and got back on the road again to get home. Besides, we had to get there in time for our welcome home party!

We got to the Purvirosa with plenty of daylight to spare, and were able to spend some time with Mum and Dud before we headed over to the church for the party. It was good to be back in the house. Neither Tod or I grew up there, but it was the first house my parents owned, versus rented out by the military for them, and I spent about 5 years there, so it was a welcome sight, to know the exact layout of the space after being in such unfamiliar territory for so long on the trip.

After short naps, we packed up Dud’s truck and headed for the Grovetown United Methodist Church. Dud had prepared a Luau for us; Chicken Long Rice, Kalua Pig, Poi, Hawaiian Rolls, the works! Mum made her famous Chinese Chicken Salad. That was one thing that I never got tired of: home cooked meals vs. road or fast food.

The night was great! We got to meet some many of the people who had been supporting us, financially as well as spiritually, while we were planning and taking this trip. It was a great show of support. We ate, drank, fellowshipped, and relaxed. Pastor Josh was super great for letting us use the fellowship hall for our crazy luau.

We packed up the leftovers, and cleaned up the hall, and headed home to the big screen TV, HBO and a good night’s sleep.