The problem with taking photos for a living is that it's work. That means that at the end of a long day, I don't tend to pick up the camera for whimsy or storytelling much anymore (unless it involves my grandgirls.) And that's a shame because I love whimsy and storytelling.
I have a friend who carries his camera everywhere, and he catches some of the coolest shots as he goes about life. I can't carry my expensive camera and lenses around in my trunk, I'd tell myself. Too risky. I need to make a living with them, and if they got stolen or fried in the Texas heat I'd be without a camera until insurance paid up. But my friend doesn't have a fancy camera. And he rocks what he has. So I decided to throw my old Nikon D70 in the trunk of my car, along with a kit lens (read: plastic and very cheap) and vowed to stop when I saw something of interest.
As it turns out, I still had to wrestle myself to turn around and go check out what I saw as I was driving down the road today. But I did turn around, and this is what I found. Seeing this old man standing by his walker, staring out at an open field, fascinated me. There were no cars around, and he had obviously walked there. I wondered what he was thinking, or remembering.
Abe is a farmer from Yoakum, Texas. He was born and raised in the area, and spent his life breeding quarter horses and farming the land. "I bred them, raised them, rode them," he said. I asked what quarter horses were used for and he said, "Everything!"
About two years ago, his daughter (who happens to actually be a granddaughter that he adopted many years ago) moved him to the Senior Village in Round Rock (see bldg. in distance) so he could be close by. Today he took a walk down the long sidewalk from the retirement community to survey the land. As he was standing there I was wondering if it's like those Family Circus cartoons where all of the people and things from the past are present in a ghost-like shape. Was he imagining life as he once knew it? Was it nostalgic or painful?