Only Time Will Tell … Transformation

On November 9, 2011, I drove from High Level to Vulcan, Alberta to participate in Bill Brandley’s introductory photography workshop for Career and Technology Studies teachers in Alberta. Icey roads between Valleyview and Edmonton brought traffic to a standstill and motel rooms were not to be found. Hundreds of transport trucks lined roadsides, it being safer to stop with a valuable load than to risk loss in an accident. With several accidents (and perhaps fatalities) the department of highways closed the road until it could be sanded. I travelled through the night, a journey that should have taken me eight hours stretching to twelve with many portions of the highway being navigable only at 50 km/h. I made it to Edmonton safely at 6:00 a.m. having started at 5:45 p.m. the night before.  I got a motel room in West Edmonton, slept into the afternoon and carried on.

Along the way to Vulcan, south of Calgary I came upon what looked to be an old service station and while there were no gas pumps in the yard, there was a 1940 Plymouth, four door with ‘4 Sale’ in the front driver’s side window. I stopped in.  Our school is doing a dinner theatre production of ‘Grease’ and this vehicle when restored (by our metal worker, now shop teacher) would, no doubt, recall the film version of Grease with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John and the era it depicts. I introduced myself to Dean, a mechanic and owner of Deanz, a vehicle restorations shop and asked if I might photograph his 1940 Plymouth as a means to interest school staff in this vehicle and dinner theatre prop. In Dean I encountered a ‘master’ of many trades, each skill allowing him great independence in taking on restoration projects. Our discussion led to a tour through his shop, a look at a mid-sixties Mercury Meteor he was in the midst of restoring, his friend’s 62 B-series Plymouth Valiant and a late 60’s Plymouth Roadrunner – his own, brown and white … in remarkable, glossy, mint condition. Our discussion next considered the possibility of a project car.  I told Dean about my father’s 1969 Pontiac Parisienne (a 2-door with a 350ci V8) and that my brother and I might be interested in halving costs of a restoration.

That was two months ago.

Well … within one twenty-four hour period (from Monday to Tuesday this week) I’ve had a call from Dean and an e-mail from Bill Brandley – Dean with photographs of a 1968 Pontiac Parisienne fastback and Bill with an invitation to participate in the follow-up, advanced, CTS Photography course. Since then, I’ve let the news of the Pontiac and the photography course sit in the back of my mind. A couple of days have gone by.  I’m letting the information ferment with regard to a decision about whether or not to dig-in to either project. With this as context, last evening, I went out to photograph a vehicle, here in High Level, that awaits restoration.

It cannot be an easy thing to appreciate the yesteryear beauty of vehicles and to own a ‘rusting relic’ and have to wait until circumstances come together to allow for its restoration. In my walks down one of the main roads of the High Level industrial park I’ve been able to capture images of trains, train engines, the lumber mill and curiosities on either side of the road. One such find has been this truck which I believe to be a 1953 Ford F-100.  It sits on an industrial lot with some of the town’s street light standards and a shed big enough to hold two or three John Deere tractors. This F-100 pickup sports a faded, retro mint green colour; some initial prep work has been completed towards its restoration.  But, the vehicle has been sitting still and minor rust has been forming.

What it will become and what will become of it … only time will tell.  But, this I know – transformations have always been something I have been interested in – often the physical transformation of ‘things’ becoming metaphor for the work of transformation in our subtle lives.

Quote to Inspire – “The more I advance, the more I regret what little I know …” Claude Monet

Listening to Born by Over the Rhine on the Drunkard’s Prayer album (another song with an element of Redemption … thank you Stocki)

recording: Drunkard’s Prayer

I was born to laugh
I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I’m gonna learn to love without fear

Pour me a glass of wine
Talk deep into the night
Who knows what we’ll find

Intuition, deja vu
The Holy Ghost haunting you
Whatever you got
I don’t mind

Put your elbows on the table
I’ll listen long as I am able
There’s nowhere I’d rather be

Secret fears, the supernatural
Thank God for this new laughter
Thank God the joke’s on me

We’ve seen the landfill rainbow
We’ve seen the junkyard of love
Baby it’s no place for you and me

I was born to laugh
I learned to laugh through my tears
I was born to love
I’m gonna learn to love without fear 

Bloggers, Image Viewers and those of you who Stumble here – thank you for stopping by; thank you for your comments and encouragement. Take care …

One Comment on “Only Time Will Tell … Transformation

  1. One vehicle, numerous outcomes. Your editing has given the old Ford new life in your photos. I love this gallery. Thank you for sharing.

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