My post today is on the eve of my daughter moving away to begin her freshman year at college. Needless to say, I am proud of her and of all of her accomplishments in life so far, and my heart will be with her. (I'm also grateful she is only a little over an hour away from home.)
It's been a few years of many changes for me, a 36 year career outsourced ("Outsource is a force, of course, of course,” but at least Mr. Ed spoke the language), going back to school, as the opportunity was offered to me under the Work Trade Act, so I figured what the Hell, maybe I will learn something after about a three and a half decade hiatus. Digital Photography was one of the first classes I took going back to school and I immediately fell in love with it.
There were also losses of friends including two of my best friends, one of which was two years ago today. We were quite a pair, and shared "two lifetimes" together, as we both sobered up about the same time in 1990, and indeed, lived to tell about it, but more importantly, laughed about it.
Also the loss of loved ones, including my Father after a 2 1/2 year battle that he fought hard, and never once complained. His older Sister (my Aunt and Godmother), was a few months ago, and a month ago, my Sister-In-Law, whose birthday would have been this past week. She and my daughter shared an unbreakable bond together, and seeing her so sad, broke my heart.
As it has been said, life indeed goes on, but seemingly as this road narrows, at a more rapid pace. Perhaps, that is why in the past two years (this month) I took up photography, as it captures those moments in time. Some of which, looking back, I wish I could have remained in those moments forever. Since we last met here, it's been a lot of the “getting ready for the move,” as well as spending some time together, making a few more memories I can take with me. I already feel it, and I'm certain my “vision will be blurred” more than once as we move her in to her dorm tomorrow. That being said, I had a chance to snap a few photos the past few weeks around the Central Illinois 'hood.
Some include the Threshermen's Reunion held in Pontiac, IL, featuring stream engine Tractors and Threshers from yet another moment and era in time. For a brief overview check here: Threshermen's Reunion.
I was also able to see some old friends reunite to play at a festival for the first time together in 30 years, with no rehearsals, and it was quite moving to see and hear them sharing the stage once again. There are also a few more new/old rusted out abandoned vehicles that made their way into my field of focus and I often wonder what stories and memories from decades past they hold.
I also returned a few times to Duncan Manor in Towanda, IL, where I was able to get up close again, only to find it has deteriorated a lot since having been inside of it last summer. The corn crops lining the long drive to it provided the perfect cover for me to visit it again. It too, is rich with history and legends. For a brief history of Duncan Manor, check out these links: Landmarks Illinois and Duncan Manor.
Lastly, what would a photo journey from me be without a few obligatory photos of a few of the cars I drooled over again in recent weeks. They too hold memories from a former life as well as a present one. That too, is much like me. It's good to be back, and as things settle down a bit more, I will expand my offerings here. Thanks to Marty and to all of you for letting me share this playground of sorts.
Bonus Paul Collins Alert!