Tag: dar williams

For the Summer

1949 Chevrolet - Peace River

1949 Chevrolet – Peace River

From High Level to Peace River, I made the drive, three hours, right after work. I was on my way to Edmonton to gather my son and his belongings after a year of University and to bring him home for the summer. I booked into a hotel room, brought my gear into the room and returned to my truck to search for a meal. Before I got into my truck I looked across the way to this red 1949 Chevrolet, half-tonne. As a former auto detailer (in a former life), I walked over and then spent ten minutes looking it over. The owner came out and provided the truck’s story – where it came from, how he had restored the vehicle and that he still took it out for a ride occasionally. It had a straight six engine – clean, restored, still capable. The owner, an older fellow, initially thought I wanted to buy the vehicle.

I told him that I was more bent on photographing vehicles than anything else.

He took me into his garage and showed me a 1959 Edsel Corsair – red with white trim and top; again a restored vehicle. The windshield and back window curved around in places where present-day cars have posts to support the roof. I was amazed at the size of the trunk – in area and depth it might actually have held as much as a half-tonne truck box. The car was also about Chrome – chrome bumpers, chrome trim; shine was definitely part of what made this car something. It had old paint, the kind that if it faded you could bring back with polish and glaze. And, I suppose it reminded me of the polishing gleam, the alluring results of those first cars I polished as a young driver and as a lot attendant at Waterloo Mercury.

The evening passed with more talk and the owner knew many of the people I’ve known through the years in High Level and La Crete, Alberta. I think he’d seen me take my L’Arrivee guitar into the hotel because he invited me into the house to play for him and his wife on his Taylor 615 a cherry-wood sunburst with heavier strings. I fretted Rickie Lee Jones’ ‘Starsailor,’ Dar Williams ‘The Beauty of the Rain,’ and Lifehouse’s ‘Me and You.’ I got him to play a few tunes – some country tunes that are becoming difficult with arthritic fingers. By the end of the evening, I had his permission to photograph his red 1949 Chevrolet half-tonne; not a bad evening. I clicked this picture the next morning.

Listening to – Ray LaMontagne’s ‘For the Summer.’

Quote to Inspire – “One of the central characteristics of photography is that process by which original uses are modified, eventually supplanted by subsequent uses ….”

Looking Back – Late Winter Photos

One year ago, late on a Sunday afternoon in February I travelled east from High Level on range roads that service farms in this region. While graders had cleared these roads snow had begun to drift into them from the north. The sun’s light was direct and bright, intense as it was reflected back from the snow. And, the wind blew. From a distance, the shapes of the snow’s drifts were a repetitive pattern blown into the roads – evidence of the wind’s work; more irregular shapes were found as result of the particular way the wind swept through an area. On my return home I photographed Gibson’s farm, 10km east of High Level – a landmark that has served to orient me to how close I was to High Level in my trips in from Garden River, Fox Lake, Fort Vermilion and beyond. After many seasons in many years, my camera allowed me finally to see more of what the Gibson’s farm was about.

Reminded of W.O. Mitchell and his novel, Who Has Seen the Wind – a novel about growing up, a story with teachers and students ….  Here’s its poem starting point.

Who Has Seen the Wind? – Christina Georgina Rosetti (1834-1894)

Who has seen the wind?

Neither I nor you.

But when the leaves hang trembling,

The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I.

But when the trees bow down their heads,

The wind is passing by.

Listening to Dar Williams’ album The Beauty of the Rain, an album I was drawn to after learning the tablature for her song of the same name.  The circumstances of a friend have recalled a song from the album – Fishing in the Morning.

Quote to Inspire – “To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.” – Ansel Adams.

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