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Old Guy Photography


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The Old Guy … Yesterday … The Last Photograph Of The Day #2

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Last Photograph Of The Day …

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Ready For The Morning …

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Lunch Beckons …

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Black Bird Standing On Door Stop …

Yesterday's Glory ...

Yesterday’s Glory …

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Weed Flower …

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Brunch …

Coffee Shop ...

Coffee Shop …

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Leaving The Yard …

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Clean …

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Summertime …

Last Photograph Of The Day … 

 

 

Next Week Or So … Something Interesting or something current … or #3

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The Old Guy … Youthful Memories … Red Rooster …

When I was a young and not yet considered a man with manly responsibilities or recognition, I hunted alone throughout the large hog lots and forests with an air rifle and later a long bow. The long bow was a challenge since it was taller than myself and I had to be careful with the arrows. They were deadly and expensive. I had six total and couldn’t afford to loose a one of them.

Sunday Dinner Chicken

Sunday Dinner Chicken Strutting Around … Like It Was Monday …

On non-hunting days or lazy-as-possible days, I would often sit in the swing that hung from a huge old Oak tree next to my Grandfather’s garage and puttering around workshop. This spot also included the infamous workbench where many a Sunday Dinner chicken met their maker when encountering the business end of my Grandfather’s single-bladed axe. I was the one delegated to chase after the chicken’s headless body with a galvanized bucket. Often in my dreams I can still hear his laughter.

The day would unfold before me as I looked down from the top of the hill. Occasionally, farm trucks or cars would pass by. Each of them no matter their size produced a large cloud of greyish-white gravel dust that settled thickly on the trees and Blackberry vines that lined both sides of the roadway.

Almost no one walked the road except occasional vagabonds up to no good and the reason, I was told, why there were several shotguns in the house. In the early morning hours field hands could be seen heading for the large cotton fields half a mile away as the crows would fly. I would often see the them late in the day coming back from their labors. The small share-croppers houses were at the base of hill below my Grandfather’s place.

The red rooster would get pace-back-and-forth nervous when the dog wasn’t napping underfoot.

So, on non-hunting and or exciting exploration days, I relaxed in the shade swing by the garage with a small red rooster sitting in my lap. Now the small bird was rather docile of nature and didn’t seem to mind me being the dominate member of our small group. It wasn’t real happy with my Grandfather’s German Shepard being around, but that dog mostly slept in the shade of the green apple tree, especially if someone left the lid of the minnow bucket open. The dog loved fresh fishing minnows and would consume a dollars worth in no time at all. The red rooster would get pace-back-and-forth nervous when the dog wasn’t napping and was underfoot.

Anyway, the little red rooster wasn’t like the large white ill-tempered roosters that roamed the chicken yard behind the back porch. I had a few run-ins with the ill-tempered bunch, and feared them until I learned to treat them all like a football whenever they would make a run at me. It didn’t take too many football type encounters before they feared me. That is except one severely ill-tempered white rooster that my Grandmother snatched up one morning. I thought she was going to wring its neck, but she gave it to the share-croppers for a fourth of July celebration dinner.

The little red rooster wasn’t the best pet possible. It listened to authoritative commands much like my Grandfather’s dog who gave every impression of being deaf and rather dumb. The small bird was deathly afraid of my Grandmother and I guess for good reason. A quick way to become a Sunday fried dinner was to get too close to her. Out of harms reach was a survival practice best remembered at all times by the critters on the place. This was especially true if you tasted good salted, fried and in thick gravy.

The small bird would, on occasion, follow me around the house and yard, but it had a serious wandering off quality. “Red” did enjoy sitting in my lap during the afternoons and swinging. It was probably a heat of the day thing since it was covered with feathers during a sweltering Tennessee Summer.

Many long hours were spent sitting with my red rooster in my lap. But … I did learn one thing quickly. If the little red rooster started quivering and shaking, and making low poultry sounds, you best quickly pick it up and set it down beside you. QUICKLY, was the key word. The odd behavior of the little rooster signaled without fail that your trousers would be badly soiled if you didn’t IMMEDIATELY act. Immediately also meant not to daydream or become relaxed in your attitude towards a working knowledge of poultry inclinations.

And … badly soiled trousers was something severely embarrassing and the last thing you wanted to try to explain to your Grandmother or Grandfather.

*******

 

Next Week … Something Interesting or something current …

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The Old Guy … A Summer Without Me …

I see the summer ending without me. My participation has been negotiable and to a point exceptionally disappointing. The ambitious photographic projects and series that held so much promise as Spring approached never really got of the ground. At the beginning of the shooting season, I never considered or thought it possible that a catastrophic disease crippling my wife would demand all my energy, time and attention.

Days one upon another can pass without a meaningful photograph being taken.

As each day progresses, my wife of nearly twenty-nine years becomes more dependent on me. Her twenty-four hour seven day a week medical condition drains every ounce of energy I can muster … and then demands more. My time melts away and there is no possibility of recovery or even simple conservation management. Though I continued to travel with and always have a camera with me, days often slip by without a single photograph being taken.

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A Pork Tenderloin Diner Lunch …

At times, I do occasionally take a tablet photograph of a lunch plate, my Sweetheart or family at the diner on days off from dialysis. But … tablet photographs are not considered photographs … they are more like disposable snapshot images. I know, that is a purist thought coming from an old film and digital photographer, but it could be said … such a sad commentary it is that I have already been reduced to such a low state in my photographic career. John E. Moss … amateur food porn tablet photographer.

I do at times, within a stolen moment, plan and work out in my mind energetic photograph shoots, overtly ambitious series and possible collections … even maybe another book. But … these fantasy projects remain on the shelf with little chance of completion. An exercise in wishful thinking of good intentions and hope. Fortunately, I can still dream even though the Summer is vanishing before my eyes.

My physical limitations remain stationary though hers have accelerated. That will not always be the case.

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John E. Moss … amateur food porn tablet photographer.

Oh, despite continuous discouragements, I still think and see in frames even though I seriously tinker with the thought of no longer taking photographs. I have a large inventory on hand for article and blog post illustrations which I can still do during stolen moments late at night. This is more so an option when I am tired to the bone and cannot move except with great difficulty.

My physical limitations remain stationary though hers have accelerated. That will not always be the case. I am quickly running out of gas and have already started experiencing chest pains again. They return almost daily and can be quite disconcerting.

At the end of this week … I have taken one photograph. It was a relaxed impromptu portrait of uncle Miles at the diner. The photograph has not boosted my spirits or changed my circumstances. And the arguments to continue doing and shooting are beginning to fall on my own deaf ears. I have just about rationalized the thought that the desire to keep shooting is beginning to leave me. Never thought that would happen!

Am I bitter to see the end of another career? No not at all. I’ve had a good run and if the decision, to be made at my leisure, is final so be it. I’ve published six books of photographic images and one poetry book. And, there is a lot of images that I am proud of thank goodness. Not bad for an Old Guy that can’t hardly get around.

Portrait Of Uncle Miles ...

Portrait Of Uncle Miles …

Right now I am worn to a frazzle and sleep deprived. And … there is a new sugar regulating diet hiding in the closet just waiting for me to have another moment of decreased mental capacity moment.

 

Next Week … Something Interesting or something current …

 

 

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The Old Guy … Youthful Memories …

When I sit out on the porch throwing peanuts to the Blue Jays … their calls to one another take me back to a time … where memories have soft edges and youthful adventures remain vivid and grandiose. I am back to the middle and late fifties or the early sixties trudging down a long gravel road in rural South Western Tennessee. I am heading to an old, old country store located on the two lane highway.

For a wide-eyed young man with silver coins, from drawing fresh water at twenty cents a day, burning his pockets, the refuge of wonderful hidden delights was known as El Dorado!  

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Hot Buttered Sausage, Tenderloin, Bacon, Steak, or Country Ham Biscuits …

Twice a week, I made the pilgrimage for personal supplies… enduring the long four mile round trip without fear or complaint.

The long trek wasn’t the worst part of the adventure. I also suffered the often confusing comments and questions of the old men sitting on the long porch bench beside the front store window. To a man they started all inquiries directed towards me with the prefix “Hey Boy …” only when I was older did I understand some of their highly suggestive and sexually crude questions.

I hunted the grey dust covered highway ditch for small, but exceptionally fast moving lizards. The small creatures were distinctive from their drab surroundings by the luminescent blue coloring with a bright yellow stripe running down their backs. I was armed with lighting youthful reflexes and a fully loaded air rifle. I had on one earlier occasion, when crossing a low bank stream in the lower hog lot, shot a snake between the eyes when it suddenly ambushed me.

Anyway to get back on subject, for myself, enjoying moments of youthful memories remains an exercise in relaxation. Quiet reflection during rare stolen moments bringing up moments and memories of cherished times. It can be amazing how realistic memories become when honed by frequent recall.

My days in the country were only scripted by store days and non-store days. Up early, I would draw water from the back porch well and make sure the kitchen bucket was full as well as my Grandfather’s porch pitcher he used to wash-up, shave and get ready for breakfast. Close to noon, my Grandfather’s pitcher would be refilled so he could get ready to go to town. He went every day rain or shine.

After drawing fresh water, breakfast was wonderful. There was pork sausage, and beef steak drowning in dark brown gravy along with freshly sliced real Country Ham with red-eye gravy. Next came homemade biscuits and fresh butter, fried eyes and fruit jam. A pone of cornbread was baked for my Grandfather. He wanted fresh cornbread at every meal.

I remember after breakfast stuffing into my trousers, hot homemade, carefully crafted by my grandmother, buttered biscuits that had a wonderful thick cut piece of gravy covered pork sausage between the layers. The biscuits, as carefully as a young boy could hurriedly accomplish, were wrapped in one or more cloth rags. Even before the wrapping process was finished, large sausage, lard, and butter grease circles appeared on the rags.

The pocket biscuits, which were for consumption during my countryside explorations, quickly made large grease rings that spread out from my pants pockets. They joined previous stains that resisted being washed out of the well worn bluejean material. These biscuit grease stains proved popular with my Grandfather’s dog, Uncle Oscar’s dog and every wild cat within a half mile radius. Even the yard chickens seemed interested in the contents of my pockets.

Heading past the gauntlet of hungry critters and down across the hog lot towards a familiar stand of trees on a high ridge, I often looked like a Pied Piper, minus the flute of course. I think the only ones that didn’t worry me to death about my pre-lunch was the Bullfrogs down at the pond. They had a serious problem if my line-of-sight down the gun barrel was on the money that day.

 

 

Next Week … Something Interesting or something current …

For Additional Photographs Click on This 500 px Link …

For More Additional Photographs Click On This Flicker Link …