Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

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

by Patt Morrison

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." Joe Armstrong/KPCC

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?


What would you take if your house was on fire?


Foster Huntington, author of “The Burning House”

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