I was being watched

1947 International Harvester KB6 Fire Truck

"OLE MOTHER," a.k.a. Unit 1 of the Parkin, Arkansas Fire Department, a 1947 International Harvester KB6 Fire Truck.The truck is in operable condition despite its age.

While I was watching this fine old fire truck in Parkin, Arkansas, I was being watched. My being watched, however was benign and not on account of suspected nefarious activities. I was peering in the passenger side window of the truck when a member of the fire department pulled up behind me. We had a short conversation and he opened the unlocked door to improve my inspection of the unit. Before this tale goes much further, you can  see two more pictures of the truck and get in on the start of the story on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com, a very cool thing to do. Click here, to go there.

1947 IHC KB6 fire truck controls

OLE MOTHER, although now relegated to parade duty and outside storage in favor of its more modern successors, is operational, at least to the parade extent, although the fireman, Theo Melton told me the last time they cranked it up, the pump was in good working order.

It seemed that this was my trip to be watched. It (being watched) had started the day before. While venturing up Arkansas Highway 365 (known locally as the “old road to Little Rock”), I went down a side road, saw something interesting and got a shot from the road. While I was turning around, I noticed a jeep coming toward me. “Good,” I thought, ” … maybe this guy can tell me what this was.”

When he pulled beside me I asked if this was his home territory. He allowed as how it was. I told him what I do, as in shooting and writing about what I shoot. He was quick to tell me that on this road (one way in and one way out) strange vehicles were viewed with no small amount of suspicion. I had driven past his home on the way in.

It appeared the conversation was headed south but eventually we mutually assured each other that everything was OK. As a result, he told me what I had shot was an old airplane hangar from the days when his father-in-law owned and operated an “Aeronca Champ” from the now grown over grass strip next to the old hangar. Then invited me to shoot the old building. We parted friends.

Old aircraft hangar north of Hensley AR

The old hangar has been out of use for ten years or so. It appears older due to some tornado damage it endured several years ago. The private landing strip was used by the community.

After I left Parkin, I went to Marked Tree, Arkansas and took a good looksee for stuff to shoot. After meandering around town for a while and finding nothing that blew my dress up, I was leaving when I noticed a local police car behind me. I thought to myself, it’s a guy doing his job, or a coincidence.¬† I was on the road again, headed to Tyronza, Arkansas.

In Tyronza, after some brief reconnoitering, I found an old Lion Oil “fillin,” station which been converted to the “Southern Tenant Farmers Museum.” It begged to be shot.

The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum

The Southern Tenant Farmers Museum in Tyronza, from the exterior is a pristine restoration of an old thirties era service station. Lion Oil Co. was an Arkansas oil producer and refiner.

After finishing the shoot, I packed up and as I was leaving town, a local police car pulled in behind me and followed me out of town. Not having a guilty conscience (any more), I felt no threat or trepidation to this latest incidence of law enforcement attention, but I did rule coincidence out. All is well as long as you don’s see the blue lights and hear the dreaded words, ” … you in a heapa trubbel boy … .” I experienced neither of these less than desirable conditions and felt some comfort that if they would follow a harmless photographer around, they would follow anyone around.

Regions and Metropolitan Bank towers in Little Rock

"Mine is bigger than yours," they seem to say. Neither of Little Rock's largest buildings are occupied by their original builders. Life goes on. Nice light just after a storm cleared.

After shooting the old hangar the day before, I wound up in downtown Little Rock during a thunderstorm. Rained cats and dogs for about five to ten minutes. The rain left as fast as it came in and in cloud-free aftermath, the late afternoon sun blasted through and cast some great illumination on Little Rocks two tallest structures. Nice light.

I finally decided that being watched is not a bad thing. I met a couple of new people who were very nice. And like it or not, had a couple of police escorts. What could be safer?


More pictures

More pictures >>>

Each week we post all pictures from our current shoot(s) in a gallery of larger, cleaner, high resolution images. We include in this gallery  the pictures we did not post on either of our sites. The pictures are in black and white AND color.

Click here to see these images. You will see another downtown shot and a country shot not posted anywhere else. You will be glad you looked.

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

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