When I was growing up in Diamond Springs, California, significant stairways were few and far between. Most of our homes were single floor western style ranch homes. Our climbing was more or less relegated to trees and lumber stacks, the latter much to the dismay of the grumpy watchman at Caldor Lumber Company who could never catch us. We learned a number of interesting words from him, however.
I’ve always been fascinated with stairs, particularly stairs that disappear around corners. They almost beg exploration, like a trail in the woods. Doors share a similar characteristic, especially interesting doors. I’m convinced that people who live behind interesting doors lead interesting lives. Unfortunately, doors tend to be very private affairs; they hide secrets.
Gates are different. They don’t say ‘stay out’ in the same way a door does… even when they sport a no-trespassing sign. Gates in Diamond Springs tended to be low on design and high on barbed wire. We climbed over with impunity except for being chased by dogs or yelled at. Old Tony Pavy was an exception; he had a shotgun that he was quick to pull when he caught kids gigging frogs in his pond or plunking squirrels out of his trees, especially the time I hit one of his pigs by mistake with a ricocheting bullet. The man had zero sense of humor. “Get my gun Mama!” he roared to his wife as we disappeared over the hill.
They have to have stairways in the town of Oia, Santorini. Houses are built right down the cliff and there are no elevators. People must be in great shape from all of the hiking. And here’s the fun part, all of the stairs are different and I think quite attractive. Peggy and I kept our digital cameras busy. We also found our share of interesting doors and two very attractive gates to photograph.
NEXT BLOG: We travel back in time 4000 years to Santorini’s ancient civilization of Thira. Could there be an Atlantis connection?