Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yale Street Pharmacy
Denny's on Loop 610 at T C Jester
I feel certain that almost everyone is sick to death of my coffee cup photographs. Sorry about that but this is still a viable project so there may be many more to come.

This can be seen from a number of viewpoints—I have mine as photographing an absence, the Table for One concept. It can be considered as an exercise—actually I see it that way also. It is preparation for Portfolio Challenge in October where I will be using ten or so of the photographs and I’m also seeing it as another mini-portfolio or monograph. I don’t claim these photographs are anything more than average but I am enjoying the direction that the project is taking as a learning experience and can hardly wait each day to go out to see what I can get. Don’t know that I have enjoyed a single project so much since Totems and Other Stories.

I met a gentleman today at the Yale Street Pharmacy who took me to the back where he has a number of his own photographs hanging. He makes two trips a year to Hawaii for the purpose of taking photographs. He will shortly be returning to photograph an international surfing competition. I am a little envious of anyone that gets to travel beyond Conroe, especially someone that gets to go somewhere as photogenic as Hawaii. But I’m still pretty hung up on the concept that traveling to distance lands in not required and to some degree is detrimental to achieving what I would like to achieve photographically. I may not be having as much fun as he has, I don’t know. I just hope that he is having as much fun as I am. I was shooting a photograph of my emptied plate and he came over to ask me if I was photographing the food and what lens I was using. The first was a hard question to answer under the circumstances how do you explain that yes you are photographing what is left over of the food but that is not what you are photographing. I took the lesser road and said, “Yes.”

I am also doing research for a new project—none of my projects are really “new.” Janet was born in Port Arthur where Hwy 287 starts (or ends, however you want to look at it.) And I was born near Wichita Falls where 287 turns west just short of the Oklahoma/Texas border. I have always claimed that 287 was our connecting cord and we talked about someday taking a drive from Port Arthur to Wichita Falls and photographing the small towns along the way. I am going to be in Woodville with the Photowalk Group next month and then in Grapeland with NWHPC in August. Both are on 287 and that will get two of the towns out of the way or at least started. I will go up a day early to Woodville and possibly stay an extra day. If I do that I can visit Warren and a couple of the other towns nearby. Will do the same thing at Grapeland. Just hope NWHPC doesn’t change their minds about Grapeland. I could actually come back from both by traveling 287 south to Beaumont and then to Houston on I10. That would give me at least three trips along that stretch. I will probably have to visit Port Arthur and Beaumont a couple of times or more because there is so much there to photograph. I’ve already got Christmas photographs of Decatur. They string lights from the bell tower on the court house and you can see them from ten to fifteen miles away—always a highlight of traveling through Decatur during the Holidays so the last time through we stopped to photograph the courthouse at night. I already have photographs from Wichita Falls that I can use so staying there a couple or three days will probably be adequate. Since I have excuses to go and free boarding in WF I could travel that section back and forth at least two or three times. It might take a year or more to complete the project but I would like to do that.  If everything I do seems connected to Janet, it is. I’m far from ready to turn that loose and would prefer that I never do.

I have a favorite story about Hwy 287 which I will include in the book. Many, many years ago, my oldest nephew, his wife, my wife and I went to Six Flags in Arlington. Being adults (although at Six Flags that was hard to tell) we didn’t figure we would stay but four or five hours. We stayed until they ran us out at closing time. We finally quit going down the tree slide when the attendant at the top asked if he hadn’t seen us up there before. Anyway, leaving after dark none of us had considered how to get back to Wichita Falls. So I told Dwain just to head west toward Fort Worth and we would find something that we recognized. Sure enough driving along we saw this sign that said 287 South with an arrow. I told Dwain to get on 287 South then at the next turn around we could head back north toward Wichita Falls. He did as suggested. Shortly we saw this sign that said 287 South with an arrow. I couldn’t figure out what we had done wrong so I gave him the same instructions. Again we took the exit, went down and turned around to head north. Shortly we came to this sign that said 287 South with an arrow. I am not sure we turned around again that time but after three or four times of coming to the same damn sign one of us finally snapped to the fact that we were already on 287 headed north. I love Dallas and can go almost anywhere without a map but I’m not sure that I have ever gone through Fort Worth without getting lost. The 287 episode didn’t help a lot in that matter. And to think I am actually planning on doing it again.

Addendum:  Just a curiosity question. How many people do you know that orders their drink for lunch based on the fact that it is color coordinated to the restaurant d├ęcor. I think maybe I should get extra points for giving up my coffee. Had to drive over to Denny’s for coffee afterwards.

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