Local artist releases song on Almeda fire anniversary, communities overcoming obstacles

SOUTHERN OREGON — As the cities of Phoenix and Talent continue to cope with the devastating Almeda fire one year ago, community members are keeping each other together through the obstacles.

Daniel Nickels is a music artist from Talent, where his house nearly burned down on September 8th, 2020.  Nickels wrote his song, “Get there together,” to help him get through the difficult times in his community at the time.

“As we go through these difficult seasons, one thing always stays true,” Nickels wrote in a post on his Instagram. “It’s the essence of community and support for each other. I remember the adversity we encountered and I am overcome on how far we have come from the disaster, together as a community.” 

On Tuesday, students and local representatives were in attendance for the Phoenix-Talent School District’s “Manzanita project” presentation. Several speakers shared their experience of the Almeda fire, while also unveiling sculptures and art pieces.

Some of the pieces included information about the Almeda fire, and are placed along the Bear Creek Greenway between Phoenix and Talent.

[The Manzanita] represents resiliency because its a fire resistant branch.” said Brent Berry, superintendent with Phoenix-Talent School District. 

Talent Elementary School’s Sonia Mendez, shared her story of “hope,” Tuesday. She says one of her Tomatillo plants continued to grow, despite the rubble from the fire and heat/drought conditions. 

“This plant has shown me so much about how strong we are,” Mendez said. “That even though there have been so many obstacles for this plant, it can give fruit.” 

Mia Brossard recited a resilience poem to the community members. The message echoed that the communities can overcome any challenges together as one.

“Remembering the loss. Echoing from what was before with strength from the community. Inspiring our hearts and connection. Love lifts our spirits as one. Imagining a community coming together. Each struggle we rise from. Never giving up hope of coming back better than before, and entering the future united and strong.”

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Anthony Carter is a reporter for NBC5 News. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2019. Anthony started his career as a print journalist, covering New York sports and the NBA Draft. He then started his own sports podcast and website covering the Arena Football League. Anthony moved to the Rogue Valley in 2019 as a news producer before joining the NBC5 News family. Anthony likes to workout at the gym, play basketball, and root for his Atlanta Hawks and New York Jets. Want to connect with Anthony? send him an email: [email protected]
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