Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Cohutta, Georgia. Tripod dog. Would-be anarchist.

Summer 2001. Nikon FM, 50mm f/1.4 lens. Exposure detail not recorded.

This man, who dressed for the occasion of having a portrait made, had been threatened with expulsion from his house if he neglected to clean up his property and pay his property taxes.

When confronted with the nasty possibility of going to jail for non-compliance, he commented (to me, on the record for a newspaper story) that "Ruby Ridge wasn't nothing compared to what's going to happen if they come here," referring to an unfortunate event in Idaho where federal agents killed innocent people for no apparent reason. Yes, his correllation between the presumed-promised event and the actual attack on innocent bystanders was unfortunate and fallacious. But the threat of violence was more than a bad idea; it was also felonious.

I asked him whether he really wanted me to quote him. He asked me to please do so.

Later, when county officials showed up at his house, they brought along sheriff's deputies. As I understand it, he was arrested without incident.

I still wonder what happened to the three-legged black and white dog.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Farmer's Market. One farmer. October 1993. Clarksville, Tenn.

Pentax K-1000, f/8, 1/125 second, Ilford Pan F (50 speed) film.

This was my first decent camera. No, the Pentax isn't a great camera -- that's why I said "decent." But it is a good student camera, and it served me well during the eight years I used it.

Over that time I put approximately 1000 rolls of film through it while going through college, working at a camera shop for a year, then writing and shooting for a small-town newspaper (my first real job) for two years. Unfortunately for Rudy the Pentax, my sole transportation at the newspaper job in middle Tennessee was a motorcycle. When I had my first -- and, so far, only -- major motorcycle wreck, the camera was crushed under my shoulder, which was at the time attempting to drive itself into the blacktop.

And now, back to the photo:

This small farmer's market was set up at the old train station in Clarksville, Tennessee, where I went to college during my junior and senior years. There was never much of a crowd there; come to think of it, the only time I ever bought produce at the market was from the woman pictured -- two sweet potatoes for baking with butter.

Of course I never think of this train station without singing the Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" to myself, which makes me wonder whether I am technically sane at that moment. I hate it when I annoy myself with my own singing.

For the record, my roommate (Wesley Jarrett) was with me when I took this shot.

If you see this -- Hello, Wesley!