I’m never not happy when I hold a camera up to my face and look through its viewfinder. It always, always makes me feel alive and invigorated. Even if I’m photographing something for the millionth time (ahem, Lake Michigan), even if the light is crap or my subject doesn’t cooperate or not one single photograph that day ends up being technically or in any other way good or meaningful.
Truly, honestly, the process makes me happy.
Today I went for a drive, hoping to capture the essence of this season along the nearby country roads, especially hoping to see something new or at least see something a new way. I slowed as I passed an apple orchard where something caught my eye, and pulled over along the empty country road. But what I saw didn’t look like anything special through the lens, so I turned back toward my car. And that’s when I noticed something just off the road on the non-orchard side. I had parked next to a pine forest with neat rows of mature pines, but something glinted–like chrome–near the forest floor.
So I tiptoed in to see.
She was just off the road, really, so I barely trespassed. I couldn’t help it–she called to me.
She’s a Brookwood, a station wagon made by Chevrolet in 1958, ’59 and ’60. Not a car I know anything about or for which my heart skips a beat, but in her pine forest resting place, oh I fell for her. She matched the colors around her but had a voice all her own, a quiet serenity, a weird juxtaposition.
She had bullet holes in her side, one door hung open as if awaiting a ghost rider who would be hopping in any minute. There were spiderwebs where windows once were, and pine needles decorated her rusted and disintegrated innards.
I want to know the story. What puts a car like this just feet off a back road at the edge of a pine forest in rural Michigan? How long has she sat there? Does anyone remember her fondly, visit her even?
It’s a story I’ll just have to make up. She deserves one.