Friday, April 11, 2014

Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain

With apologies to The Wizard of Oz, I speak metaphorically about spring. There is no denying it's here. Sure took its own sweet time getting here but it's here whether I like it or not. And with the onset of spring is the ebbing of my season. I always feel a sense of urgency as the weather becomes more moderate. I know the warmer it gets the more things will grow, especially my nemesis, kudzu, among other things. Don't get me wrong. I love spring. I love not being cold. But I also love shooting old and forgotten things.

Well duh...

Pretty much the reason you're here and reading this. Some ask why I only shoot in winter. Because it's dark and gloomy. It enhances the abandonment...the forgotten loneliness of my subject matter. And yet I pretend there is still time. I still can gather a few more things. I will admit to being insatiable. When I was plotting out my journey last summer I, via the wonder of Google maps, managed to find around 2000 potential targets. Oh sure, a lot were old but not necessarily aesthetically significant. In other words, a 100 year old block building was still just a block building. It was suggested to me that I narrow my focus to the more interesting targets. Reducing 120 stops down to 20. Sometimes I could. Other times I would have to have 30. If you read my blog called 1412 miles in Three Days I mentioned I had 102 stops. That was out of over 300 I could have gone to. But being insatiable I always think I don't have enough.

And then spring had to show up. Thanks. Thanks a lot.


This place I didn't even know about. I was in Spring Garden up in Cherokee County. I always thought Cherokee was a cool name for a county but I digress. Anyway, I was looking for something else in this neck of the woods so I accosted this sweet lady at the Post Office. Not only did she take me to what I was looking for but also asked if I knew about Hurricane Mill. As it turned out I did not. So, even with fresh groceries in her car, she then took me to find this place. I wish I had caught her name because she was so helpful. I'll just say thanks anyway because she took time to help a stranger but I guess she figured I didn't look too dangerous.




I don't always see the little things that give a place character. But when I do I'm delighted to find them. This is still hanging on the front of the large building in Billingsley...the one with "Billing-sley (It didn't fit as a single word) proudly painted on the roof. This particular morning it was eleventy-leben degrees.




The old church south of Brent. As interesting places to shoot go this one was pure gold. In a funny sort of way I find it easier to accept decay as opposed to vandalism. Nature is much more methodical as it reclaims its victims. Even though it's sad to see a church in such disrepair the relentless yet gentle onslaught of nature will ultimately win.

To know me personally you would think I'm pretty easy going and perhaps a bit cynical. I must confess both would be accurate. But, I can also be a bit of a perfectionist. Not annoyingly so....at least according to me. I remodeled a bathroom one time. I noticed after the mortar had dried on a bullnose tile on the edge of the sink it was slightly crooked. Almost nobody would have noticed but it drove me crazy. I say all this to say I am my own worse critic about my photography. I might really like one out of 100 shots I take. This picture of the old shrimp fishing boat Capt Chris was one of those shots. The clouds, the angle, the lighting among other things made this a photograph I was proud to call my own. Oh and so you know, it is abandoned so to speak. I was told a guy here buys old boats and resells them in South America. So it's service in the Gulf is long past.

I know the end is near and no I don't mean the upcoming blood moon. But the end of my season, for now, makes me realize now I have other things that require my attention.

Being an adult can be such a drag at times...



5 comments:

  1. Love these! I am a lover of "Old" buildings, etc. too. Thank you for preserving this bit of our history.

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    1. Thank you for enjoying my journey!

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  2. Do you have an email list that you notify when you update your blog? If so please add me to your list
    john.matras@sci.com

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    1. No I don't want to spam people. I always post a link to my blog on my Forgotten Alabama Facebook page so that's the best way to know. That is if you "Like" my page of course.

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  3. I have been by many of the places you have pictured. I am glad someone else appreciates them other than myself.

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