Bookstore Jesus

A picture of Jesus Christ taped on the door of an electrical breaker box above a chair between two bookshelves at Hyde Brothers Bookstore on Wells Street in Fort Wayne.
This is the back room at Hyde Brothers Books on Wells Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There is a picture of Jesus Christ taped to the door of the store’s electrical breaker box. The bookshelves to the right of Jesus are part of the store’s religious books section. The shelves on the left hold books about crafts and scrapbooking.

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.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Grandpa’s Burn Pile

An old broken mailbox covered in ashes on a pile of burned garbage.
Teenage vandals smashed grandpa’s mailboxes several times over the years, and each one took its place on the junk pile in grandpa’s back yard. The rural area grandpa lived in did not have trash collection service until the last few years of his life, so he burned his trash. Old appliances and other non-burnable items rusted away among the ashes on the burn pile.

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!

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Easter Island Statue

A concrete replica of an Easter Island Moai statue stands amid tall grass at sunset on the edge of a limestone quarry in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A concrete cast of a Moai Statue, the famous sculptures built on Easter Island by the Rapa Nui, the Polynesians who originally inhabited the small island in the South Pacific.

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.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Trees on Yohne Road #10

A group of four trees in the middle of an icy snow-covered field on Yohne Road in rural Allen County, Indiana.
These trees were in a cornfield on the north side of Yohne Road in southwest Allen County, Indiana.

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.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Dreamy Sunflowers

Soft focus photograph of several small wild sunflowers on a single plant.
Sunflowers grow wild all over New Mexico, and many people there have them growing in their yards. The native sunflowers produce several small flowers on each plant, rather than the single large flower found on the commercially bred sunflowers that people in other parts of the United States plant in their gardens.

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.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Mary Mora #10

95 year old Mary Mora laughing out loud while telling a story from her life.
She was laughing while telling me a story about a customer she threw out of her bar a few days earlier. The woman saw Mary’s horde of cats walking around, and told Mary that she didn’t like cats. Mary said that she told the woman: “The door opens and it closes both ways, you don’t like my cats, you can get the hell out!”

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.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Bob’s Parking Space

No Parking Except For Bob, a sign in the window of Burrows Insurance Agency in the small town of Mexico, Indiana.
No Parking, Except For Bob. This sign was in the window of Burrows Insurance Agency at the corner of Main Street and Mexico Road in the small town of Mexico, Indiana.

I made this photograph six years ago in a small town called Mexico, Indiana.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Family Dollar Store Construction #3

A partially completed steel and cinderblock retail building on Bluffton Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The walls and most of the roof are completed on this new Family Dollar store under construction on the east side of Bluffton Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

A Pair of Tulip Chairs on Kyle Road

A pair of rusty yellow metal tulip chairs on the front step of a white cinderblock house on Kyle Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This pair of metal tulip chairs, or motel chairs, sits on the front step of a cinderblock house on the east side of Kyle Road, north of Sandpoint Road, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This house is in the neighborhood where I grew up, around the block from my grandparents’ house.

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.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Teenage Love Graffiti

Graffiti written by several girls declaring their undying love for several boys, written on the wall of a bedroom in an abandoned farmhouse in rural Indiana.
The wall is covered in graffiti by teenage girls declaring undying love for several boys back in the mid 1990s.

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?

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.