Yesterday afternoon, I visited my favorite book store, Hyde Brothers Books on Wells Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I bought a couple of history books, and I photographed this scene in the corner of the store’s back room.
This is one from my archives, made in 2002. My grandparents, my father’s parents, lived in rural southwest Allen County, Indiana. This is one of several photographs I made over the years of pile of ashes in their back yard where they disposed of their trash by burning it. Several mailboxes ended up there after vandals smashed them and knocked them off the post along the street!
Near the end of 2013, I noticed this sculpture standing on the edge of a limestone quarry just outside Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a concrete replica of a Moai statue, the famous monumental sculptures built by the Rapa Nui, the Polynesian people of Easter Island in the South Pacific.
The quarry is the Hanson Limestone quarry whose entrance is on Ardmore Avenue. The statue is visible from Lower Huntington Road, just east of Smith Road. It is an out of the way rural place, not the kind of place one would normally install something like this. It is set back quite far from the road, so most drivers on Lower Huntington Road probably don’t notice it.
It was made by Robert Stark, the former publisher of The Waynedale News, using a mold made from an original. Mr. Stark has written the story of how the statue came to be.
I photographed it close to sunset on May 24, 2014.
I photographed this little island of trees in the middle of a field many times over a period of nearly a decade. This March afternoon in 2004 was still very much an Indiana winter day.
The trees were bulldozed several years after I made this photograph. The Republic Services Landfill is located north of the field that the trees stood in, and the dump was expanded onto that land as well.
This sunflower plant was growing in front of a house on Camino Del Gusto in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was about a block north of the house I lived in while I was living in Santa Fe. The dreamy soft-focus style is different than the work that I normaly do. I like to experiment with different techniques, but I always go back to my usual sharp, formalist, documentary style.
I photographed it in 2006, while I lived in New Mexico.
I made this photograph on august 15, 2011. This was the last time that I visited Mary Mora. She was 95 years old, and had operated her bar in the small town of Cerrillos, New Mexico for decades. Her father actually started it when she was young, and she took it over when he died.
Mary was one of the most interesting people that I have had the pleasure of knowing. When I lived in New Mexico, I visited her often. The daughter of immigrants from Italy, she graduated from the University of New Mexico in the 1930s and became a teacher in the school in Cerrillos. She quit teaching when she married, and later took over her parents’ saloon. She speaks English, Italian, and Spanish fluently!
She is now 99 years old. When I saw her in 2011, she was in poor health and had turned over the operation of her bar to her daughter. You can read more of her story and see more of my photographs of her, her daughter, and her many cats at the Mary’s Bar page on my portfolio website.
On a foggy morning back in September, I photographed this place, which was a vacant lot. Later, construction began on a Family Dollar store, although there is one a half-mile south on the same street. It is the east side of Bluffton Road, across from Mike’s Donuts in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Since construction began, I have photographed the building several times.
Here is another photograph from my backlog of work waiting to be finished. I photographed these chairs almost three years ago, in March, 2012.
I love old metal chairs like these. My grandparents had a pair of them that I photographed many times over the years, and I have photographed many more all over Indiana. They are almost always found in pairs, rarely alone. You can still buy new ones, but the old ones from the 1950s and 1960s are the best. They often show signs of multiple repaintings over their lifetimes, though it is sad to see them allowed to rust.
Graffiti covers a lot of the walls in the bedrooms of this abandoned 19th Century farmhouse on County Road 1100N, just east of County Road 100E in Adams County, Indiana.
This wall’s graffiti was written by several girls, probably teens, who put their names, the dates they were there, and the names of the boys they were in love with! One girl drew a tombstone that says “Love Hurts” and another drew a cross wrapped in a thorny vine with “Lust” written in a heart drawn in the center of the cross.
• Amanda Jean Franz was here March 31, 1995 and loves Richard Koldyke and Phil Bodle.
• Jennifer James Franz was here March 31, 1995.
• Mandie Franz was here November 17, 1996 and loves Richard Koldyke and Phil Bodle. Mandie signed the drawing of the tombstone.
• We are #1
• Lisa Mowery was here November 17, 1996 and loves Phil Bodle Always -N- 4-ever. Lisa signed the drawing of the cross.
I graduated from high school in 1994. The kids who wrote this are probably just a couple of years younger than I am. They would have been around 30 years old when I photographed their probably long-forgotten messages in 2009. I wonder what they would say today?