Miscellaneous fodder

Andrew Jackson Statue in Jackson Square

This is one of the quintessential bits of New Orleans imagery. You stand by the cannon on the south side of Decatur Street across from Jackson Square and point the Kodak directly at St. Louis Cathedral. If you do this properly, one Andrew Jackson astride his steed in Jackson Square will fill your view finder. Depress shutter button. Repeat if necessary. If camera clicks could harm that statue, it would be bug-dust by now. In my defense, it was a glorious day with perfect light, so why not?

This picture of Andy Jackson in Jackson Square started my day on January 23, 2002 in New Orleans. Though the image is so common, it has almost become visual triteness, it still portrays and brings to mind an important event in American history. Beside that, it looks cool. 

Carriage mule in New Orleans

Click on the mule for more mule pix

I was in New Orleans with friends during our annual pilgrimage to (at the time) watch the Saints lose a football game, eat good food and soak up local color to the best of our meager abilities along those lines.

For me, it was an opportunity to wander around and shoot with reckless abandon in one of the most pregnant- with-opportunities urban environments anywhere. I went on that day to photograph mules, Pirate Alley, and a late evening River Walk image which was not too shabby. To see these pictures, move your person to the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com and take a gander. We will wait here for your eventual return.

No mention of Jackson and New Orleans should be made without harkening back to Johnny Horton’s 1959-60 smash hit, The Battle of New Orleans. This tune impressively climbed the charts and continuously crackled through AM radio speakers to fans singing along. I was one of them.

After the trip to New Orleans, it was back to business as usual, wandering through LA (lower Arkansas). My wanderings took me through Stephens, Arkansas, a small town near the epicenter of the early 20th century oil boom in south Arkansas. The town still bears vestiges of its former glory. Among the remaining landmarks is an old service station, which is another favorite photographic target. I took my turn.

Old service station at Stephens Arkansas

The old station in Stephens, over the years, has been inhabited by hopeful entrepreneurs. The last time I saw it, the doors were closed. At the height of its useful life, an attendant would pump your gas, check your oil, and wipe your windshield. For your convenience I’m betting they offered nearly cold Ko-Kolers (LA for Coca Cola) and the little round thingies of peanuts one poured down the neck of the pop bottle. Both were a nickel to you.

Back in the Delta, at Cornerstone, Arkansas, a lone tree stands in a field with a nice uncultivated patch of ground around it to help maintain its lofty integrity. There’s bound to be a story there, I have yet to uncover it. In this picture, the field is planted with corn. I have also seen it planted with beans, and years ago, with cotton.

Tree in corn field.

In the Delta, every square centimeter of arable land has opportunity value. That said, it is notable when planters respect and plant around a tree occupying otherwise productive dirt. Usually, the tree is a “home-place” tree which provided summer shade and aesthetic benefits to a rural residence. Though the residence has long since succumbed to Mother Nature and economic realities, family memories trump and the tree survives. I’m betting this is what happened, but in all honesty, I must admit that my opinion is pure conjecture.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind





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