Recently I was in Roanoke Virginia to cook for a group of NYS FITS builders. Volunteers all, they worked for two weeks with Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley. While there the group bunked at Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church in Vinton. I was soon to learn that somewhere in the Valley roamed a Great Ape, known simply as the Kong after the giant quadruped of movie fame – King Kong.
On a slow day, Joanne my long-suffering co-cook, and I set off on a geocache quest. We ended at Roanoke’s mountain “star.” From this vantage point, I gazed off over the Valley and City and reflected on the location of the Kong, that mighty beast. A local at the overlook shared that he heard the giant ape was downtown – somewhere near the train yards.
My search, refined, I determined to find and digitally capture this monster whose name sake terrorized that great metropolis, New York.
It was on a later trip into downtown Roanoke that I was able to continue my search for this elusive beast. On this occasion I was with a small group that included Photo Eric, his bride of some years, Deb, and FITS volunteer Claude. On the way into the City, we went through an out-of-the-way neighborhood. At one place it provided a vantage point to see the City. I persuaded the driver to stop, and despite his impatience, managed to look long enough to see what appeared to me, Kong in the City. I quickly snapped a digital image.
Once in the City’s downtown and after a walk with the group around the Market District, and after taking some rather good photo shots, if I don’t say so myself, the group settled in at a downtown coffee shop. I quietly left the group while they were having coffee, and if you know my love for coffee, this was a sacrifice on my part.
I headed towards the my earlier Kong sighting. I questioned locals as to the exact location. I wended my way; closer to the rail-yards, closer to that glass and beam building.
Suddenly, there he was, on the third floor balcony of the Taubman Museum of Art. Tall and proud, defiant and angry – a roar in his throat, a small plane in his hand: The Kong stood.
The Kong of Roanoke, now captured in high-definition digital images. My hunt was successful. I have my trophy shot of this magnificent beast, the Kong of Roanoke.