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.  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 the comfort in the whirl and thunder.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

After the Steeplechase 2014

My whole life has been about seeing what is behind the curtain.  I want to know how things are done.  This year I made an effort to dig deeper into what goes on away from all the hoopla of the Steeplechase.  This is where my peace is.  I enjoy parties but I have to find my secret, quiet place.  Big hats, wagers and mint juleps are not for me.  Give me lead ropes and fences to lean on.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kentucky Derby 2014

It was a beautiful day on the track at Church Hill Downs.  But for the lowly ones of infield crowd the track, horses, jockeys and roses are not what you will see.  It was a record crowd this year.  I had no idea since this was my first Derby.  I only know that it was chaos and crazy.  I tried to breach the security to get in the boxes of the lucky "golden ticket holders" for a quick shot or two.  That was not going to happen on this particular day.  But somehow I did find myself among the band and an opportunity opened for me.  I ventured tentatively and cautiously out on to the track at least for a breather and to see the races in real time.  What worlds apart exist within the Derby itself.  Each group had its part and role. But because of having been quarantined to an area of mayhem I could not explore as freely as I wished and the sea of people was unbearable at times.  Will I go back?  Only as the privileged or press.