Saturday, July 03, 2010

Outhouse, Mouth of Wilson, VA

Okay. This is the outhouse behind the house where the bear(s) live(s). Made me nervous being there. This was shot from the back porch of this tiny house, which was maybe 300 square feet. Mamiya C220, Ilford FP-4 Plus film, 135mm lens. I have no idea what the four-foot lengths of PVC pipe in the ground are for. Never seen that one before.

I recently read a book called "Our Southern Highlanders," about so-called hillbillies around the turn of the century (19th to 20th, not 20th to 21st). Author, who lived in southern Virginia, said something like 60-70 percent of the land in his area was at a 45 degree angle or more, and suggested that it be settled by the Swiss, who were accustomed to farming in the mountains, instead of the Scots-Irish, who weren't. Seeing this little town and other places like it on this trip, I know what he meant. Cows and attempts at row-cropping have caused serious erosion, where stepping the land and raising goats instead of cows could have preserved the soil. And he wrote the book in something like 1910.

I didn't get too close to the outhouse. It was on the other side of a barbed-wire fence. I typically don't cross fences. If I put up a fence, I wouldn't want somebody crossing it. Good way to get shot. I've never been shot, and prefer to keep it that way.

I have been shot AT, once when I was about 16 and got too close to somebody's moonshine still or marijuana patch while walking around the bottom of Elder Mountain, just west of Chattanooga TN. There are some roads you don't go too far up, when you're growing up in southeastern Tennessee. I figured out later that the guy probably wasn't shooting at me, as such, just getting close enough to make me go away. The first shot hit about 15 feet in front of me. The second, a few long seconds later, about three feet. I didn't stick around for a third shot. Very important lesson in private property rights, taught by a master.


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