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By Joseph Dempsey spacer Who Is that Masked Man?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Into every life a little rain must fall. For yours truly, it came as a tsunami.

This past week I experienced an allergic reaction to a medication already well ensconced inside my person, which was originally mis-diagnosed as a “viral syndrome.” A day and a half later, after a bout with up to 101.5 degree temperature, and a subsequent visit to my regular doc who was out of pocket originally, the proper diagnosis was made and I am well on the mend.

Problem was, I was unable to venture forth to capture new shots. In fact, I was so weak, I felt like I had been through advanced calisthenics after loading the dishwasher. So, if you are here, we are revisiting one of the all-time favorite posts on Photo of the Week. The photo is displayed above and the original wirds follow this little intro.

And I will nicely survive to shoot again.

Drag Up and Listen

First Published on April 27, 2008

I wish these old barns could talk. If one could drag up in the shade, lean back, get comfortable, and listen to previously untold tales, I suspect the gamut of experiences heard would make a six-hour mini-series pale in comparison — unblemished by laxative, hygiene product, and fast-food commercials to boot.

You would probably hear about knuckle-busting maintenance peppered with the attendant, muttering-under-the-breath expletives that seem to accompany efforts to fix broken things that defy fixing. You'd be entertained with slapstick cows kicking the bucket over, hog killings in the fall of the year, a smidgen of local gossip, and frequent weather prognostications. To add a bit of spice, you might even become privy to a first-hand report chronicling a surreptitious "romp in the hay." One can only imagine.

Perhaps you might also be clued-in on the whys and wherefores of the galvanized gate leaning on the barn behind the tractor. Better look fast, the weeds are closing in. Before long it will be camouflaged.

No self-respecting farm was complete without a barn. This Stone County, Arkansas, barn, while not large, appears to have been well constructed. A good friend told me that his grandfather used to say that you can measure a man's dreams by the size of his barn. When his grandfather would buy mules, his offer was based on the condition of the seller's barn. If the barn was in bad shape, his grandfather's offer dropped like a horseshoe in a well.

The gambrel roof as seen on this barn has a practical purpose. By changing the pitch of the roof in midstream, you can make room for a few more bales of hay in the loft.

The structure looks like it has a few years to go before it weakens beyond repair, inviting gravity to launch it into the ultimate downward course of destruction. That's a good thing that the barn is still standing because after it crumbles, we will have lost a good source to pique our curiosity.

Makes you wonder about the tractor, too. What happened on that last day? Why was the tractor abandoned? The sun has bleached the steering wheel from original black to a pallid gray. Rust is munching its way to eventual triumph. The value of the machine is probably calculated by the pound. Alas, poor tractor, I knew you well.

To the casual observer, what's pictured here is just an old barn surrounded by a healthy growth of weeds. To the curious among us, it was likely someone's pride and joy. What happened, when and why? Fats Waller said it best, " nevah know, do one?"

N O T E S:  
Nikon D200 / AF-S Nikkor 18-70 f 3.5-4. G ED / tripod mounted / Post processed with Photoshop CS3 Extened and PhotoMatix HDR

divider When this feature was first published, our blog was just a gleam in my eye. So, unable to send you to an entry related to "Drag Up and Listen," we invite you to look back to a blog originally published July 27, 2009, on our Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.

Click the jump wings
to see the previous
Photo of the Week.
Click the camera
for an index to every
Photo of the Week.
weekly grist

Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog.  — J. D.


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