Sunday, September 14, 2014

something wicked this way comes


Where do all these people come from.   I think my mother has said this same thing. I can't believe I found myself saying the very thing about this year's State Fair.  The Fair is visually explosive or assaulting depending on your mood.  I love the Fair although there is a feeling of unease I have at everyone I have ever attended.  It is like driving by a train wreck.  I can't help myself.  I got to look.  

The Tennessee State Fair doesn't have that wholesomeness you see at smaller county fairs.  The carnies are more sinister, the crowd is more intense. This year it was arriving at a more comfortable family affair.  There remains a creepiness to it for me though.  Like I have gone into a world where I am not suppose to be.  Eerie green lighting, homemade tattoos, smells that co-mingling in a not so pleasant aroma, questionable entertainment and food you know better not to eat.  But the whole feel of the Fair was milder all together.  I remember hawkers in the past bordering on rude and drunken, tawdry language violating my finer sensibilities, burlesque shows with women parading around on stage in pasties and panties.  Rarely did I go to the Ag. Centers or the Frontier section usually situated far away from the mayhem.  In the past I couldn't drag myself away from the scandal of the Midway.  This year the animals and rodeo was the place we found reprieve.  Even then  the whole business of hauling farm animals around from county to city to state was as surreal as the carny collective.






































Friday, August 22, 2014

Rural America / "Beaufort West" by Mikhael Subotzky


Reading over a foreward by Johnny Steinburg in Mikhael Subotzky's book "Beauort West" I recognize similarities we share here in the American South.  

"Rural South Africa has emptied over the last couple of generations. The number of commercial farmers has declined by almost a third. More and more of those who remain have mechanised their work and employ fewer and fewer people.
As for the rural poor, everyone goes to the city. Whether with their family’s consent or on the sly, whether alone or with others, scores of young people leave sometime in their teens. It is unusual these days for a person to reach adulthood with visions of spending the rest of their life in the countryside."  

The remainder of the foreward and images of Mikheal's are here


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summertime on the Harpeth


This took me back some years to see this group hanging by the river.  It was a mixed bag of emotions for me though.  Wasting afternoons with friends and talking about easy subjects like what animal you see yourself being was heart warming and cute.  But the dead "something" smell wafting along the water's edge and the fear someone might get hurt because of the invincibility youth seems to believe they possess was not so missed by me. I wish I could have let go but too much water under that bridge.








Monday, June 2, 2014

Crossville Speedway


Dirt was flying Saturday night at Crossville Speedway.  Excitement was in the air.  My adrenaline was up a notch.  Why didn't I find this sport when I was 14?  It would have fit me like Barrel Racing.

It was a night with early fireflies and a cool enough breeze to dry the sweat.  I felt soothed by the sweet wholesomeness of the occasion.  The nostalgia helped me forget the world.  Of course, the economy has hurt this sport too.  The jest of it as told to me is tracks are goin' under everywhere.

Sandy had her crowd and willing participants, though.  Her husband bought this track for her and together they ran it until his death last April.  It was a hive of activity and I imagine she finds her solace in the whirl and thunder.