Desperate Tattoo

Derelict Service Station - Southern Alberta 2
Derelict Service Station – Southern Alberta 2
Derelict Service Station - Southern Alberta 3
Derelict Service Station – Southern Alberta 3
Derelict Service Station - Southern Alberta 4
Derelict Service Station – Southern Alberta 4
Derelict Service Station - Southern Alberta 6
Derelict Service Station – Southern Alberta 6
Derelict Service Station - Southern Alberta 10
Derelict Service Station – Southern Alberta 10
Derelict Service Station - Southern Alberta 11
Derelict Service Station – Southern Alberta 11
Derelict Service Station - Southern Alberta 12
Derelict Service Station – Southern Alberta 12
Derelict Service Station - Southern Alberta 14
Derelict Service Station – Southern Alberta 14

Beyond the Banff National Park gates, moving east toward Calgary, near the Stoney Reserve a service station with restaurant that had been a thriving business in the sixties, seventies and even eighties is now dormant. An abandoned structure, without windows and gyprocked walls, it now provides temporary and limited shelter from the elements to travellers or hitchhikers or people seeking ‘off-the-grid’ status. The building reminds of characters, scenes and happenings within the ramble of Jack Kerouac’s novel, ‘On the Road,’ of people driven and on the move, of stories shared between travellers that may or may never meet again, of place and places where seedier things can occur. On an adjacent theme, the building reminds of the Life of Chris McCandless in Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction work, ‘Into the Wild,’ and any would-be traveller who aims to explore and take-on the world on their own terms – that traveller could find refuge in this building. Graffiti tags tattoo this building, the building paper to the quill of the traveller’s spray paint. Expressed, here, are the dominant issues confronting each traveller, assertions about justice denied, of perspective not being valued and rejected, of the irony within all that makes the world tick. In all, graffiti’s colour, shape and form pull the witness to the resilient voice of the traveller expressed upon these walls. Here, ‘the writing is on the wall’ about the state of their/our world. Most telling about these travellers and their living so close to the land is the assertion ‘The Desperate Came’.

Listening to – Eddie Vedder’s ‘Hard Sun’ from the soundtrack to ‘Into the Wild.’ Then it’s Ray Lamontagne’s ‘Hold You In My Arms,’ Radiohead’s ‘All I Need,’ the Counting Crows with ‘Omaha’ and Jack Johnson’s ‘Rodeo Clowns.’

Quote to Inspire – “I don’t care so much anymore about ‘good photography’; I am gathering evidence for history.” – Gilles Peress

11 Comments Add yours

  1. rondje says:

    Great shot! The shoe is perfectly placed 😉
    Greetings, Ron.

    1. Hey there, Ron:

      Thanks for looking in. The running shoe is indeed perfectly placed … and it’s as I found it. Likely a motorist with tired hitchhiker was part of the scenario that loosed a shoe. The shoe became the draw to spend an hour at he site.

      Take care … 😉

  2. Thank you for documenting this building. I like the various versions of the building. Including the shoe that adds to the reality of the place.

    1. Hey there, Tim:

      Thanks for looking in on these images; I agree the running shoe does add reality of place to the image. Good, good!

      Take care … 😉

      1. You’re welcome and thank you as well for looking at my blog. I really enjoy looking at photographs that challenge me. Yours does that.

  3. kiwiskan says:

    Great photos. I wondered if you had added that sports shoe in the foreground to give depth to the photo. If you did it was very effective.

    1. Hello, hello …

      Everything at the service station site is medias res … as I found it. And, the shoe does add depth and it does provide a sense of haphazard youthful living beyond having a home – both were compelling features gathered in the shot. The shoe may be as much about people tired on the road as it may be the antics of youth and throwing a friend’s shoe out the window on a long journey (and leaving it there).

  4. I absolutely love this! wow!

    1. Hello there …

      Hope you’re on the mend … thanks for looking in.

      Take care …. 🙂

  5. redjim99 says:

    Yes the poignancy of the solitary shoe, and the colours in Alberta 2, perfect, I like the wide shots in this set. You’ve hit it perfect with the colours there and in Alberta 12.

    Jim

    1. Hey there, Jim:

      I’ve done the proofread and edit and settled the question of ‘shoe.’ My laptop has interesting spacing on some keys too. Thanks also for your eyes on the photos … as always, it’s good to read and know which photos hit home in terms of colour (and in terms of editing on different, unequal, non-calibrated monitors).

      Take care … 😉

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