Patt Morrison for July 27, 2012

What belongings would you save in the event of a house fire?

Producer Joe's list of things he would save in a fire

Joe Armstrong/KPCC

Producer Joe's list of things he would save in a fire: "(I’d grab as many of these things as I could) Sally (the best dog ever); Martin guitar; Fender guitar; Laptop;Hard drive full of pics, docs, music and everything else; Keys, Wallet, iPhone, Passport; Leatherman multi-tool; Spoon from my parent’s house; Stack of journals; Vintage postcard from Yosemite National Park; Rocks from the top of Half Dome and Mount Whitney; Scorpion belt buckle; CD copies of both my albums; Son Volt’s Trace on vinyl; Signed copy of Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine given to me by my mom; My bedside clock; Custom molded earphones; Baseball cap; Scrap of paper with a girl’s phone number; Tom Waits concert ticket stub; A concert ticket stub from the night Stevie Ray Vaughan died."

Producer Dave's list of things he would save in a fire

Dave Coelho/KPCC

Producer Dave's list of things he would save in a fire: "iPad, iPod, iPhone, iKid, Knife, Chronicles by Bob Dylan, glasses, passport, wedding ring"

Brian Watt House Fire Items

Brian Watt/KPCC

Host Brian Watt's list of things he would save iin a fire: My dog Louis, My son Nico, Wallet, passport, press credentials, iPhone with headphones, Marantz recorder, KPCC microphone (because I'd likely be reporting on the fire, right?). Rumpled up in foreground is my Brother Thelonius Belgian Style Abbey Ale hoodie from the North Coast Brewery – it’s one of many useful and treasured gifts from my wife (who is not the photo because she’d be off gathering up her own stuff if our house was burning down).

Producer Raghu's list of things he would save in a fire

Raghu Manavalan/KPCC

Producer Raghu's list of things he would save in a fire:"First the basics, my laptop, passport, and wallet; A Los Angeles Lakers 1988 NBA Champions T-shirt, given from my mom to my dad, which he can no longer fit into; My first guitar, which my dad gave me in 2001; A gold necklace that used to be my grandmother's; And a wooden Buddha statue."

Producer Danielle's list of things she would save in a fire

Danielle Sommer/KPCC

Producer Danielle's list of things she would save in a fire: "A painting by a close friend; a necklace inherited from my mother; my computer, but really, all my writing and my photos; the essentials (money, ID, all things purse-related)."

Intern Alfredo's list of things he would save in a fire

KPCC

Intern Alfredo's list of things he would save in a fire: Portrait of naked woman; Picture of my mother; Box of love letters; Candle of La Santisima Muerte (The Holy Death). Note: These were all things given to me. Nothing I bought."


It’s an age-old conundrum incited by a question that everyone dearly hopes remains hypothetical. Its also the question posed by a new book by Foster Huntington called “The Burning House.”

The book began its life as a conversation at a dinner party. That one four-word question caused people to look inward and truly consider what items in their life had the most value.

The discussion soon blossomed into a blog, and then into a project so all encompassing that Huntington quit his job in New York and set off on a journey around the American West to seek out and document the answers of a diverse set of people.

As the project gained momentum, Huntington compiled hundreds of pictures submitted with respondents’ lists — and it is those pictures that make up “The Burning House.”

Images in the book include items that are practical (wallets, passports and shoes), valuable (laptops, musical instruments and jewelry), sentimental (photographs, family heirlooms and books), and intangible (loved ones and pets).

All of them provide intimate details about thoughts and values rarely shared with others: What irreplaceable items would you take if your house was on fire?

WEIGH IN:

What would you take if your house was on fire?

Guest:

Foster Huntington, author of “The Burning House”


blog comments powered by Disqus