Ever go through your old photos and sit and stare at one and ask yourself “Why the heck did I take that photo?” I was going through some old files and came across these… Well, I was going to start deleting them but then I remembered that even though the photos are ridiculous there are stories attached to some of them.
I know where and when this one was taken, Jamestown, NY. But why?? Why did I want a photo of the ice arena? Don’t get me wrong. I love Jamestown. It’s a really nice city located in a beautiful part of New York, the people were amazing, friendly and helpful, and it has some great restaurants. MrsGF, our oldest son and I spent an incredibly fun evening in an Italian restaurant late one evening a block or so from our hotel. We were the last ones there and when the owner found out we’d come there all the way from Wisconsin he came out with a couple of bottles of wine and we sat talking and drinking and telling stories until way too late.
But why the heck did I take this picture? No idea. But because it reminds me of that crazy night at that little Italian restaurant it’s a keeper.
You probably don’t know anything at all about the Hotel Marsh. I certainly don’t, except that it’s in Van Wert, Ohio. But apparently a couple of days before I was in Jamestown I was in Van Wert, Ohio, and I took a photo of a hotel. Why? I have no idea. But I do remember a bit about Van Wert and about a rather curious restaurant called Baily Eats (I think that’s how it’s spelled). It was a very curious, very old fashioned place, right across the street from the city offices where I had some of the best pork, dumplings and sauerkraut I’ve ever had.
This is a junkyard just outside of Owatonna, Minnesota. Owatonna, if I remember right. And, well, why in the world did I take this photo? I have no particular fondness for junk yards. And as junkyards go this one isn’t very interesting. This was the very first trip I took on the BMW when I’d first bought it. I ended up going through Minnesota, through South Dakota and into Wyoming and Montana on a two week trip by myself.
The backs of people’s heads? I remember being on that boat. It was an island tour of some sort someone talked me into going on and I vaguely remember being bored for the the entire three hours the tour took. Bored enough that I apparently resorted to taking photos of the backs of people’s heads? I actually have several like this. But it’s from a trip I took with one of the boys up to the Apostle Islands so I’ll probably keep it.
A tree. Ooo, how exciting. Not just a tree, but two trees. One big, one small. And a bush off there to the left! Where the heck was this? Why did I take the photo? Why didn’t I delete it? I honestly have no idea where this is or why I took the photo.
I do remember this. This is a small town in Kentucky. It was a pleasant little place. We’d stopped at a cafe for breakfast on Saturday and sat there listening to a bunch of old guys at the table next to us talking about buying burial plots for their wives. Seriously. There were about 5 guys, all in their 70s or maybe even in their 80s, and the topic of conversation was where they were going to bury their wives when they died. MrsGF and I didn’t know if we should start laughing or run away as fast as we could. MrsGF came to the conclusion that they were “performance artists” or something like that, hired by the cafe to give the tourists something to talk about.
But of all the stuff I could have photographed in that town, why did I take this picture? There isn’t even anything that identifies the town. It could be any of a thousand different small towns I’ve been through.
Okay, I’m bored now, although not as bored as you are. Time for me to go do something useful. Like maybe pet the cat
2 thoughts on “The Why the Heck did I Take that Picture Department”
I am so painfully inadequate as a photographer I can not only sympathize, but totally understand why you took these, because I do exactly the same. Actually I kind of like the tree and its child – I once knew a crazy homeless guy who directed traffic at crossroads and there’s a lot of him in that tree! My own photographic efforts are never worth exhibiting, bearing as the do a constant intrusion of thumb and, because I have a tremor, a certain ghostly mistiness about them. I’d love to have met the septuagenarians with their funeral fixation, too. There’s a plot in there somewhere!
I know what you mean about the old fellows talking about buying burial plots for their wives and about their funerals. That would make a great scene in a short story or novel. My wife came up with the idea that they were actually local actors that the cafe hired to make the place more interesting to tourists.
Well that whole town could easily make some kind of story. It was near Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. Once upon a time the town had tried to turn itself into a tourist trap, hoping to lure people in who had gone to see the caves. There were failed tourist attractions scattered all around the outskirts of the town like a falling down Bible themed amusement park, boarded up shops that had sold the usual tourist trinkets and the like. I kept thinking of H.P. Lovecraft stories about old, gentile New England towns that look normal and attractive but behind the scenes there is something very dark going on.