Bowing out

scaffolding in sunset

Sunset behind the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, under construction in the early nineties. The scaffold stands beside the incomplete theater fly gallery

Call this a truncated Weekly Grist. Not exactly a one-trick pony, but a one-picture epistle. 2013 is about to auger in, and it will be good to welcome a new year with new opportunities and possibilities. How we recognize these sometime subtle findings and what we do with them will be fodder for thought about this time next year, just as our stumblings for past 12 months are now up for review.

The picture above was a “stumble-on.” I drove by, said “Ho-ooly Mack’l,” stopped and shot it. The image portrays The Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas here in Pine Bluff, under construction. The scaffolding stands next to the center’s incomoplete theater fly gallery. Shot in the early 90s on Fujichrome. (That’s film, you know: The stuff that comes in the little cans).

sunset over saracen lake

Click on the sunset to see the big picture.

See another amazing local sunset on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. The picture you’ll see is the result of a 30-mile chase. I saw a thunderstorm developing late in the day which usually portends well for sunset shots. Every time I stopped and set up, the storm changed directions. The chase ended at Saracen Lake (at that time, Lake Pine Bluff).

And so dear friends, (corny music in the background), as the sun sets behind the construction, we wave bye-bye to 2012.

Happy New Year,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind


Back to the Cross Tree

The Cross Tree

Click on the Cross Tree for the original post

Revisiting “The Cross Tree” has become a Christmas habit with me. I say habit, because doing something at the same time for four years only is probably not much more than a habit.

After a few more years, I may elevate the re-visit to a more lofty “tradition” status. At this time of year patience and a pinch of humility is a good thing.

The original story on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com reveals treachery at it’s lowest with a gradual segue to realizing that the good people in the world outnumber the bad — a comforting thought around Christmas and the New Year.

Our original Weekly Grist post is more or less a documentation of the site. The meat of the coconut is in the Corndancer story. There are nine additional pictures in our Cross Tree gallery.

Merry Christmas and thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

What’s left at Lester. Again.

Old store at Lester Arkansas

There’s not a lot to see in Lester, Arkansas, but if you have this, you don’t really need anything else. Click on the picture to see our original 2009 post.

Occasionally one stumbles across a unique set of visual circumstances that makes one grateful for cameras, reason being that what you see exceeds your command of the English language.

I rarely admit defeat along these lines, but at Lester, Arkansas, I was flabbergasted at what I saw. At the same time I rejoiced.

Since not everyone gets to shoot at Lester and precious few will ever see it in person, we are sending you back our original post to take a gander.

Sutffed deer at Lester AR

Click on the critter to see more of the store.

The welcome wagon was not out at Lester except for a friendly cat who decided to occupy the cab of my truck. Fortunately, human indifference included no objections to my photographing the premises, so I fired away.

This story is in two parts. The other part is on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. See more pictures and descriptions. The click is worth the trip because as a good friend once told me, “I’ve been to a goat ropin,’ two county fairs, a tent healin,’ and a Conway County election and I ain’t never seen nothin’ like this.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

Dogs, cats, kids, folks

Black kitten with Santa at the Humane Society photo session

This wide-eyed little fur ball’s patience was growing thin as we fired away. This was the lucky shot. His objections prevented further exposures.

Santa holding Schnauzer

Click on Santa and pooch to see more pix and how this story started.

Every year about this time I shoot dogs. Now before you go apoplectic and dial 911, calm down. No firearms are involved and it is all for a good cause.

In fact, cats, kids, parents, grandparents, and perhaps neighbors and friends may also willingly become targets during the annual Humane Society of Jefferson County (Arkansas) Photo Shoot at Margland Bed and Breakfast in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It gets even better. Said participants pay for prints, the proceeds of which go to support the noble work of the Humane Society volunteers.

This being a two-part story, you can see how it all started on the Corndancer Photo of the Page. We’ll wait here while you look.

Santa with rescue dog

This boy is educated. He is a graduate of the Paws in Prison program of the Arkansas Department of Correction. Next week he is headed to his forever home in New Hampshire courtesy of the Humane Society of Jefferson County,

Think local

The Humane Society of Jefferson County, like similar local Humane Societies across the nation, is dependent on local support to do the good work they  do. These volunteer heroes do the grunt work. They take care of dogs and cats who have been summarily rejected, tossed away, and abandoned. They are often the recipients of litters resulting from the inaction of irresponsible owners. They hunt homes for pets. They take them to their homes as foster pets. They relentlessly seek out “forever” homes for their charges. They feed ’em. They walk ’em. The genuinely care for them.

Given the depth of service provided by these local Humane Societies, dropping some currency in their coffers is a good idea this time of year.

Grandmother and cat in Santa's lap

It’s never too late to experience one of life’s simple pleasures. sitting in Santa’s lap. Mamma seems to savor the experience, while the cat is ready to cease and desist with the least dispatch.

This family proudly displays their pet pack of two. One home boy and one rescue, both of whom seem to be grateful for the arrangements.

This family proudly displays their pet pack of two. One home boy and one rescue, both of whom seem to be grateful for the arrangements. One of the attending volunteers proudly announced that the “lump” is her grandchild.

Santa with dog

Santa is into the moment and the dog appears to believe he is sitting for an executive portrait. It takes all kinds.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

Click on Santa and the dog for more pictures

Click on Santa and the dog for more pictures

PS: See more in our Weekly Grist Gallery

 There are more pictures available in our Weekly Grist Gallery if you are inclined to see more dogs and happy people. Click here to see what you have missed.


A tale of two bridges, twice told

Bridges over white river at DeValls Bluff AR

Click on the bridges for the original Weekly Grist post.

I am sending you back in time to September, 2009  when I visited DeValls Bluff, Arkansas, where you can see something you can’t see anywhere else.

The town is renowned for barbeque at Craigs, just down the street from the Family Pie Shop. Famous may be an understatement for these two establishments, legendary might be more accurate.

bridges at DeValls Bluff AR

Click on the bridge for our original Corndancer story

However, I was not in DeValls Bluff to eat. I was there to shoot their bridges over the White River. The newer one takes U.S. Highway 70 over the river and rises high to accommodate barge traffic. It’s neighbor, not much more than a good rock throw away, is an out-of-service railroad bridge. The two together are quite a sight to see, so I am sending you back there this week. Click to see our original Tale of Two Bridges post.

Since the majority of my fellow Arkansans and the rest of the world are not frequent visitors to DeValls Bluff, I considered it my duty to rectify this cultural deprivation with pictures and a story. If you do happen to go to DeValls Bluff, go there hungry.

Be sure and check out our original Corndancer dot-com Photo of the Week story for more info and pictures.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

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