In last week’s article, I posted the ten photos that appeared a few years ago in my joint show with friend Wayne Brabender titled “Two Old Farm Boys Go Back Home.” This week I’ll share some of the outtakes, in other words, photos that were considered but didn’t make it into the show. Narrowing the selection of photos for an exhibit is always a challenge for me and I think for a lot of photographers. That was especially true for this exhibit because I had a strong emotional connection to every photo I took for this project regardless of it’s strength, composition, and story telling ability. My first cut was over 125 images, true some were duplicates and others didn’t add to the story line but it was a massive task to narrow it to ten. Of course, there were some that were slam dunks to use a basketball metaphor while others took some pondering either on quality or how it fit the story I was trying to portray. So with that background let’s get started.
The top image is the farm house that I grew up in and where my Mother still lives. It has seen its better days but there are four walls and a roof but not much insulation! The bottom photo was taken on a cold winter day inside the house looking west through the kitchen window. Note the thick coat of frost.
Keeping with the cold, frosty theme, I took a lot of photos in the winter, trying to depict the harshness of the winter weather in the Northern Plains. The top photo was taken on a blustery day in December looking towards the farmstead. I think one can feel the cold wind as evidenced by the drifting snow. The bottom photo was taken nearby but early in the morning as the sun was rising. Fences and weeds go together like ice cream and cake. Keeping the fences in decent shape was a constant task and sometimes those weeds made the job even more challenging.
Even the old machinery became a subject for photographs. Most every farm I know has a place where old stuff goes to die. Occasionally, a scrap metal buyer would come around the neighborhood to pick up that unused or worn out metal stuff. My Dad wasn’t one to let go of that old machinery, never know when it might come in handy!
This lone tree just down the road from our house almost begged to be photographed. Here are two different view, the top looking north and bottom looking to the south at sunrise. Unfortunately, this tree was cut down by the county road crew as it encroached on the road as it grew bigger.
Near the tree above, I noticed this scene as the sun rays peeked out from behind the clouds.
This image was taken across the road from our farm. It’s the abandoned farmstead of my Great Uncle Albert. Albert and my grandfather farmed together for a number of years until they both got married. Uncle Albert was a WWI veteran and served on the front lines in France. He never talked about it and I wish someone would have captured his story.
This is the machinery and repair section of the post! The top two photos are of the machinery in the summer. The bottom photo was taken in my Dad’s shop. I don’t know the full story of this vise but it’s been on the farm since I can remember. It was first attached to a workbench in what we call the “well house” because that’s where the well was located! It also served as the repair shop for the farm equipment for many years. It’s now gone, got taken down before it fell down!
The following photos were taken within about 50 feet of each other but in different directions. This photo is of Highway 1806 looking east. When I was growing up, this road was supposedly a gravel road but it didn’t have much gravel on it. Several years ago, it was paved and since our farmstead was so close to the road, the engineers decided to make a gentle curve so as not to pay huge costs for moving all the buildings. By the way, this highway is named to reflect the year 1806 in honor of the return of Lewis and Clark from their trip to the west coast. In North Dakota, they traveled on the Missouri River located just three or four miles north of our farm. Sometimes I wonder if they or one of the members of the Corp of Discovery set foot on our farm.
These two photos look to the west. The top photo was taken on a day that a storm was moving in. Note the yellow strip in the foreground, that’s a field of canola. The bottom photo is of the mailboxes across the road from the house. This image came in a close second to the photo that was in the Farm Boys exhibit that was titled “You’ve Got Mail.”
Well concludes the post for this week. Hope you enjoyed this two part series of Farm Boys. It will be hard to move on to another subject but to quote Forrest Gump “that’s all I have to say about that!”
Til next week, happy travels.