The smells of the job

When some people think back on an event, they remember the images, sounds or voices of a scene. For me, it’s the smells –  I most often remember my stories based on smells.

Hear me out.

Yesterday, I was on the scene of a house fire as friends and family began to clean up. The rain was still falling from the remnants of Sandy – whose winds apparently helped spread the flames of the fire.

Here’s what the scene looked like when myself and Daily Item photographer Rob Inglis arrived:

What struck me first was the smell. It was a charred wood smell, mixed with a pungent barn smell from the family’s barn across the street.

It’s these smells that stick with you – you get them in your nose and you can smell them for days afterward.

For example, about a month ago, I was on the scene of an accident which happened to be near where a deer carcass was laying. I walked around with the roadkill deer smell in my nostrils for about a week afterward. I couldn’t get it out of my head.

Even now, when I smell that roadkill-ish, garbage smell, I think right back to that accident scene.

What takes you back to certain memories? Are you a smeller too?

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