Once, again, it’s been two weeks since our last “meeting” here (besides our comment banter) and after reading Marty’s post earlier this week on Fleming Potter, it is time for me to address more of my own “Abandonment Issues” once again.
In the past few weeks I went back to revisit a few of my favorites places only to find two of them gone and one heavily barricaded with “Private Property,” “No Trespassing” and other signs I normally ignore. I did heed the warning there this time, but I plan on going back again once the “dust settles” a bit more. Sadly, these places, whether factories or abandoned farm houses and buildings are indeed a part of the disappearing slices of Americana that will be lost forever, only to be immortalized in photos and stories.
The history physically dies, but the stories live on in classic “Big Fish” splendor. I did return to an abandoned train club car (make that “somewhat abandoned,” as I think I met one of the “tenants” there that sunny afternoon) to take some shots of the Fall colors beginning to appear). He was very sociable, in between sips from his brown paper bag. To me it was also a bit humbling, as they say, “By The Grace Of God, There Go I.” We talked and I asked if it was OK to take a few photos, he said to go ahead, as he heard they would be destroying it soon. As he drifted off into a wooded area, I decided to take a walk through. I loved the rusted out walls and ceilings and saw a few clues inside of inhabitance, a coat hanging on a wall, as well as a dirty rolled up comforter with an artificial single red rose placed on top of it. It was then he popped his head in one of the open windows, and said, “I thought you meant taking photos of the outside.”
I apologized for any intrusion, and he said it was OK, but inside, I felt a bit of sadness as I was indeed walking through his “home.” We talked a bit more and I thanked him, and went into a nearby building that was a warehouse of sorts, that had a couch pulled inside amid the empty cans of beer and spray painted walls. This seemed more like a drinking hangout for kids, with the crude graffiti and the “Kurt Cobain Rest In Peace” decorating the inside of one of the large doors. More stories and ghosts still reside there I’m sure.
Another building I had frequented, and actually got the “green light” to explore, thanks to a woman (who was a relative of the property owner, who saw my car parked, and asked if I was from an Insurance company taking photos. I said no, I am merely fascinated by the “Beauty in Decay,” and she said there was some vandalism done there recently, but go ahead and take my photos. Once inside were a few eerie corridors and oddly shaped ceiling and doors, but an old office chair in a dimly lit room caught my eye the most.
I also returned to an abandoned house in the woods and an abandoned gas station, most likely both on “endangered species” lists as well. As these places fade from both landscape and memory, I am grateful for the ones I have already captured and will continue to find and explore them, and make my own memories along the way.
On a side note, yesterday was my Mom’s 83rd Birthday, (my Mom being one of the few people on the planet that refuses to call me “Boris”) and as as I do a few times a year, I am reposting a link to “A Father’s Hands” for some of the newer readers we have here. For those who are seeing these for the first time, I will provide an introduction.
I took these pictures using only my cellphone, during the 2 years my Dad was battling Central Nervous System Lymphoma. Sadly, he lost the battle on Saturday, April 4, 2009 at 11am CST. I post these photos as a tribute to his amazing courage and to the love I witnessed between my Father and my Mother.
They have taught me so much, and have proven to me that true love does indeed exist. His last words to my Mom were, "Goodnight My Dear,” the same thing he told her every night for 57 years. He truly made a difference in my life, with his caring, giving, sense of humor and putting others before himself always.
I am grateful for the memories we were able to create and share together during this time and I will cherish them forever. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who were with me on this journey and still are as the healing continues. For all of your Thoughts, your Prayers and your sincere words of love I remain ever grateful.
Happy Birthday Mom, I love you.
I close today, with one of my favorite quotes from “Big Fish,” a quote that describes the stories of my Dad, the memories and his laughter I will always carry in my heart and soul.
"A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him. And in that way he becomes immortal."
The "Secret Weapon"