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By Joseph Dempsey larder

Sunday, December 9, 2007

You are looking at a very old storage building. If you've followed this weekly offering from the git-go, you have read a snippet about it before. I quote from that snippet, just in case you have no desire to click on the link:

"Just east of Mountainburg, Arkansas, I saw an old building which I deemed needed a good shooting. As I busied myself beware with the anal-retentive aspects of the art — in this case, digging through my rats nest of a camera bag looking for a misplaced tripod connector — I looked up and lo, there was a guy at standing at the tailgate of my truck.

"He wondered what I was up to. I responded that the old building intrigued me and I wanted to shoot it. He allowed as how this was his property and that was why he was curious. I allowed that since it was his property, his curiosity was appropriate and well-placed and did he mind if I photographed it. He allowed as how that was just fine and allowed me to proceed. As I set up, we introduced ourselves and struck-up a conversation."

The conversation bears elucidation. J.R., the guy, lives about 50 yards down the road from this building, which is the remaining remnant of what was once a fine home site. This was a storage building. J.R. says the walls are more than a foot thick.

The site consisted of a fine home, constructed in stages, like many country homes of that genre. The first step in building a home is to get in out of the weather. (When J.R. bought the property, the home was empty, but intact). Then as income improves, the home enjoys additions.

The home was similar in construction to the storage building, according to J.R. Just across the road was the family's business, a store, which probably boasted a staggering inventory of everything from tack to tacks.

Eventually the bright lights of the city, with their siren call, lured the children away from this peaceful rural environment. No one was left to take up the reins of the store — thus the inevitable demise. Nothing is left of it.

After J.R. bought the property, miscreant citizens began to eye the old residence as a source of things to plunder. Over the years, the home was stripped by thieves. It became an eyesore, and when J.R. had his fill of this chicanery, he had the remains of the home demolished. Pity

J.R. says the storage building was a larder (not his words, but mine). The family filled it during the spring and summer with home-canned foods and other consumables not prone to deterioration. Not an uncommon practice of the time. My mother did the same thing in urban Fort Smith when I was but a lad. Her larder was wherever she could find shelf space. Our garden filled many a Mason jar.

The hinterlands are rife with stories just like this. To enjoy the sights and revelations, one merely has to pony-up for three-dollar gas and sally forth and explore. Time and money well spent.

N O T E :  
Nikon D-200 / 80-200 f2.8 Nikkor Zoom / on the pod / Post-processed with Photoshop CS3 Extended

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