To Carve an Elephant

By: danitacahill

Feb 10 2012

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Animals, Black & White, Pets, Photography, Photojournalism, Portrait photography


Focal Length:57mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

This is David and Sasha.

David Burback is the carver. Sasha is his companion. David volunteers time at the Albany Carousel in downtown Albany, Oregon. He’s carved on this elephant for two years,  “but I was gone for six months,” he says.

Watching David work on this carousel animal reminds me of the saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer: “One bite at a time.” Only in this case it’s how do you carve an elephant? One stroke at a time.

I appreciated that he kept working as I was taking photos, instead of looking up with a cheesy smile. I like how this shot turned out – man hard at work, trusty dog by his side.

Sasha likes to lie on top of the elephant as David removes tiny bits of wood. He says the dog enjoys the rocking motion as he carves.

David’s wife, Linda Borba is a carver as well as a painter at the carousel. Linda is Sasha’s dog trainer.  Sasha is a Pomeranian mix who loves to learn and perform.

I’ve gone to the Albany Carousel project and museum three times. Twice on assignment and once with my family. I covered a senior citizen outing from Scio, Oregon last year. Last weekend I went along with a group of afterschool students from Jefferson, Oregon.

Both times David put Sasha through her paces for the groups. Sasha does a figure eight around his legs, sits up, gives high fives, weaves through David’s legs as he walks. But the best trick of all? Sasha plinks on a toy piano with her paws.

Sasha gets so excited when she’s doing her tricks that she barks and barks. David has to hush her with dog treats.

I have never met a smarter little dog; she is Border collie smart. That’s about the highest compliment I can pay a dog.

Hopefully next time my family and I visit the carousel, Sasha will be there with David – they weren’t there when my husband, sons and I went before. I hope Linda is also there. I have yet to meet her.

For more about the Albany Carousel project, click here and here.

Copyright Danita Cahill. All rights reserved.


2 comments on “To Carve an Elephant”

  1. great photo and story! Thanks for sharing.

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