Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hesitation, loss

This abandoned house fascinated me for years, even before we lived four blocks away. It always surprised me that it was still standing, situated as it was on one of the busiest streets in town, at the end of a nice block in an established neighborhood. I always wanted to do a series of photos of it, but it took me until this past April to finally get organized and brave enough to go snap some pictures.

And then, last Friday, somebody tore the house down. I drove by on my way to my parents' place, and the house was a pile of bricks and rubble under the treads of an excavator. All morning as I planted my flowers, I could hear the rumble and clang of bricks being loaded into a dumptruck. By mid-afternoon, the lot was cleared, leveled, and covered with straw. I can't say the house is any great loss, but I do regret the loss of the photos I never took. It reminded me of other photos I didn't take, perfect shots that I didn't take the time to turn back and capture. The similarly abandoned house out at the intersection of two of the biggest commercial roads in town, last house for miles around. For years I thought about what a good subject it would be, and then I went away for the summer and came back to an empty lot. The lone tree left standing when an old farmstead was cleared for a parking lot, noble and tragic against the Spring sky. It was gone two weeks later. The most beautiful old tree in Louisiana, draped with Spanish moss in a way that looked almost staged. Why didn't I ask if we could turn the car around for five minutes?

How about you guys? Any missed shots you regret?


  1. i remember the one at the "commercial roads"...that intersection never looks right to me without that house there, so half the time i don't realize i'm there until i've been sitting at the light for a good minute or two. i also thought for a while as a youngster that it might be cool to own that house, or at least, it would suck to actually live there, but would make an interesting store in an old house.

    as for missed shots...since i rarely take pictures, and the ones i do take are rather on the crappy side, how about all being "missed"?

  2. Now that my dad and my Mom's parents have passed, I wish I had taken more pictures of them.
    I only took photos of special oocasions, but now I wish I had "everyday" pics, especially of my grandmother