Contrived reluctance


Convenience overwhelms  reluctance

Leaning barn

I have seen this old barn so much, it is tattooed in my memory bank. Even so, I did some serious foot-dragging before I finally got it squarely in my view finder. The lean is real. I leveled the camera which eliminates vertical distortion. Gravity will win this fight. Get more looks at the old barn below.

It was convenience and a crying need for about a dozen pictures or so shot at a nearby source that finally pushed me over the edge to get off my duff and shoot this location. It was ripe with an old car (1950 Chevy), an old tractor, and a precariously leaning barn.

1949 Chevy in extreme disrepair

Click on the old Chevy for more pix and comments

For a person who enjoys photographing relics which have seen better days, it is a honey hole. Despite this strong appeal to my baser nature, I have driven past this location on a regular basis for pushing 14 years.

I finally figured out the underlying reason for this callous disregard which I freely discuss on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. It is, I suppose, a character defect. Imagine that.

As you enter the property, the first display is a rusting 1950 Chevy Fleetline, sans wheels, but well decorated with fallen leaves. Most of the parts are still attached to the engine, the ubiquitous Chevy in-line six that would remain as the only power plant offered until 1955 when Chevrolet introduced its second V8. They introduced their first V8 in 1917, which was in 1917 and 1918 vehicles. Don’t ask me what happened to the first V8 because I do not have a clue.

close up of junker 1950 chevy

A patch or two of blue survives on this 1950 Chevy Fleetline. The old in-line overhead valve six remains relatively unscathed, and probably is fused into one homogeneous chunk of metal.

1950  Chevy junker

There’s not much paint on this side which faces directly into the prevailing path of ill weather.

1950 Chevrolet Fleetline

The shape of the 1950 Chevy Fleet Line leaves no mystery as to how its name was contrived.

Old leaning barn in Grant county Arkansas

Not far from the old Chevy is the easterly leaning barn which has succumbed in part to the nasty weather which generally blows in from west/southwest. It is a sizable structure and at one time was someone’s pride and joy.

old falling barn

Moving around the barn, the light improves and we get a better look at what Mother Nature and her close ally, gravity, have wreaked on the old structure.

collapsing barn in Grant County Arkansas

Continuing the walk-around, we see that the southwest corner has borne the brunt of that which will eventually spell the barn’s demise.

collapsing barn

This is a closer look at the bludgeoned southwest corner of the barn.

front of collapsing barn

The walk-around ends at the front where we see how stress is popping boards loose. There is still “stuff” in the barn, but I doubt anyone would dare an attempt to retrieve it.

When one considers all the photo ops on this location, and the fact that I have known about it for 14 years and am just now shooting it, you may want to question my sanity. But that would be nothing new. That question has been posed for years with no satisfactory answer. We got close on the Photo of the Week  page.

Thanks for dropping by,
Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/

http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Prairie Road barn and thereabouts


old barn on prairie road

The camera is level, the barn is not. Someday soon, an ill wind, a rotting structural member losing its final strength, a termite banquet, or other untoward circumstances will spell the endgame for this fine old barn. There will probably be no human witnesses. And passers-by may not notice the collapse until weeks later. What was once pride and joy will be a pile of rubble.

large catalpa tree

See the start of the story at Corndancer dot-com

At a sharp bend in Prairie Road in Cleveland County, Arkansas I spied this old barn coming close to losing its extended battle with gravity and age. Had the builders done less of their jobs, we might be looking at a pile of barn boards instead of a precariously surviving structure. There’s still enough left for an impromptu glimpse of rural history in an agricultural community.

Before we pursue this tale further, may I suggest that you take a look at the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where the story started. You’ll see an old home place with some interesting trees less than a mile from this barn.

The old barn was no doubt built in stages. The idea was basic utility first, add on as soon as you have a good year and then expand your capabilities to support a growing family. A family’s barn was the epicenter of subsistence and production for income. There are probably a few remnants of a home nearby that did not grab my attention. At the time of this structure, absentee farm ownership was not yet in vogue.

detail of old barn

This is a horse or mule barn with a door tall enough to accommodate a man on a horse or mule. The loft stored hay for the winter and according to legend, was a place for some friendly encounters. They say.

The rough-hewn looks of the lumber means the owner operated or hired someone to run  a temporary sawmill close by  to produce lumber from trees felled close by. It was a common practice since trips to town for lumber took days not hours.

I was not far from New Edinburg, Arkansas, home of the McClellan’s Country Store, the proprietors of which will build you a fine sandwich. It was early afternoon and my Cheerios and yogurt breakfast was a long time back. Stephen McClellan did the honors. The ham-turkey sandwich laced with home-grown tomatoes plus the other traditional sandwich decorations met my wildest dreams in size and palate-pleasing yumminess. I washed it down with a Barq’s Root Beer in a long-neck bottle. Before I left, I bought a few home-grown tomatoes as well.

See more pictures from Prairie Road and thereabouts at our Weekly Grist Gallery.

sandwich and Barq's Root Beer

A Barq's and a great sandwich with a bite missing are the signs of a great lunch in progress. In the backgound, (left to right) Kristin Skelton and Stephen McClellan are looking at a previous Weekly Grist post while I am munching out.

 One cannot help but snicker occasionally as you travel about. Just south of Pine Bluff, Arkansas on U.S. Highway 63 is a store at which the proprietors display some of the merchandise in the front yard 24/7 /365. If I ever pass it when it is open, I will probably satisfy my curiosity and peruse the innards of the establishment, but for the time being, external observation is my limit.

See more pictures from Prairie Road and thereabouts at our Weekly Grist Gallery.

country junk store

The sign says "Just country junk and more." I can see the junk, but not the more.

The way home from Prairie Road takes me north on U.S. Highway 79. As of this writing, for more than a week, a couch has been sitting on the shoulder of the highway south of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, my home town. I posted a picture of the couch on Facebook and of course it has drawn the wit expected on such a post. Here for your viewing pleasure is the couch on the side of the road. Or should I call it a divan?

couch on the roadside

This old sofa just barely off the shoulder and in the right-of-way on the north-bound side of U.S. Highway 79 south of Pine Bluff, Arkansas has been sitting there now for more than a week. Wonder how the highway department people have missed it? It's not camouflaged.

red barn

See this barn and more in our Weekly Grist gallery

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

See more pictures from Prairie Road and our recent meanderings through the hinterlands in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

See an old store, another view of the big catalpa tree, a big woodpile and more.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey,

Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/

http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/

http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

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