For whom the bell doesn’t toll


No new post this week, but a link to a

neat archive post with critters

swimming bears

Click on the bears and go to "You belong in a zoo."

This week instead of a new post, we are redirecting to an archive post, “You belong in a zoo I.”  The pictures and story are from the Memphis Zoo during the time they had panda exhibit. You will find a link to the panda story when you go to that post, or you may click here and see the pandas.

Bell and steeple at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Lincoln County AR

There's no rope on the lever of this bell at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Lincoln County Arkansas. And it appears that it is frozen in the upswing for a "ring." I wonder why? On the other hand, a storm is brewing, the sun is setting and the king of the skies, a "turkey buzzard," is making a beeline for his home base, all of which are not to bad to observe.

 If “Googling” is any indication, “Macedonia” has to be one of the most popular names for a Missionary Baptist Church in the lower 48. As I was Googling to capture some information on Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Lincoln County, Arkansas — and its bell  — I was presented with hundreds of Macedonia Churches, none of which were the one I was seeking. Maybe thousands if I followed the Google pages to infinity. Thus rebuffed, I decided to wing it. According to the plaque on the church, it was organized by Elders B. Dabney, M. Nelson, and Deacon C. P. Powell in 1886 and rebuilt in 1980. Past that, I’m in the dark.

abandoned 1955 pink ford fairlane

Click on the old Ford to see more about it

Before I got to the church and it’s fine but silent bell, I ran across an abandoned and sadly deteriorating 1955 four-door Ford Fairlane. It is “Elvis Pink,” a popular color option of the day — and is on it’s last legs. The car has been sitting there since 1966 and looks it.

See this rotting relic on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot com, where this adventure started. We will wait here for your return. The bell ain’t going anywhere.

Stopped in mid ring

bell frozen in mid swing

As you can see, the lever to ring the bell was cut from what appears to be 3/8 steel plate and was not original equipment which would probably have been bronze. The lever is peppered with a predictable patina of ferrous oxide, AKA rust.

See a great sunset, another picture of the bell and more in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

In the absence of sounds from the bell, we can only but imagine the joy and sorrow accompanied by it’s clarion tone in better days — announcing to church goers that it is time to stop visiting and start worshiping,  ringing in a happy life for newly weds, the last toll for lives fulfilled — and perhaps neighbors rang it to notify the community of a fire, other emergency or a community gathering. It was probably the only mass communication device for miles.

Macedonia MIssionary Baptist Church LIncoln County AR

Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, Lincoln County, Arkansas, organized in 1886 has weathered many a storm and in this picture is right before weathering another.

Going, going, gone

Flowers wilting as summer ends

These flowers are folding their tents as summer winds down and fall rolls in. Already, we've started to feel a tad of a chill in the air. In a month or so, we'll be chattering.

Changing seasons are a good time to pause for introspection. To look inward and see what needs to be fixed. Besides the rope on the bell.

Sunset

Click the picture to see the sunset

SEE A DRAMATIC SUNSET in our Weekly Grist Gallery

A late summer thunderstorm right before sunset created some favorable circumstances. See the sunset here. Also an old truck, three pictures of an forlorn old 55 Ford, the bell and more in our Weekly Grist Gallery. Thirteen pictures in all.

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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Down. On the farm.


old gin at Ladd, Arkansas

This old gin at Ladd, Arkansas was built in the late 1800s. The gin machinery was powered by steam. In the 1920s it was removed from service as a gin and has been used for storage since by a plethora of owners. Apparently it was built with the "right stuff."

Most of us enjoy looking at old barns and houses which, despite the ravages of time have managed to remain standing. These structures are monuments to the societal and economic fabric which helped make us what we are, for better or worse. In agricultural communities, there are other remnants of days gone by, to wit: abandoned farm equipment, another part of the living museum one observes in the hinterlands. Before we go much further, may I suggest that you click here and see another view of this old gin and a lilac-covered combine where this epistle started on the Corndancer Photo of the Week page. We’ll wait here.

abandoned tractor and combine

This old tractor and combine, long since abandoned are part and parcel of a farm I found which appeared to have come to a definitive and abrupt stop.

While old rejected tractors and combines don’t have the emotional appeal of old barns and cabins, they still have a story to tell. In March of 2009, I was cruising the roads of northern Lincoln County, Arkansas and happened upon a respectably sized farm through which was scattered a number of farm implements which appeared to have been abandoned in place. From the looks of things, someone said, “OK that’s it,” and everyone dismounted and left. Perhaps it was not quite that dramatic, but the appearance is there.

abandoned combine and grain auger

This abandoned combine and grain auger, are parked in the field where they were probably last used. The opening in the combine behind the cab shows evidence of someone harvesting some parts from the harvester.

Walking off from equipment of this type is no small thing. The combine you see above cost more than most people’s homes. Tractors are not far behind in the pecking order of cost. So while the equipment as it sits now is little more than junk, at one time, it represented a major league investment. We do not know the complete story here, but odds-on, it did not have a happy ending.

Cannabilized tractor

The cultivated fields of the farm were interspersed with patches of pine woods. This old tractor sat near some of those trees. It is older than some of the other equipment I saw. Probably it was cannibalized for parts to keep a similar unit operational.

Lest I give the impression that agriculture in this neck of the woods is all but sunk, hear me say that nothing could be further from the truth. While agriculture is feeling the same economic pinch all of us are experiencing, as an industry it is alive and well. At least in these parts. The face of the industry is different. Like all successful modern pursuits, agriculture takes advantage of cutting edge technology.  Agriculture, however, has one advantage that never changes. To change products, you do not have to rebuild the factory, you plant different seeds.

Combine harvesting soybeans

With the appearance of a horned apparition materializing from a a foreboding fog, this late model combine is harvesting soybeans off Townsend Road near Moscow, Arkansas.

As big as a house and as high-tech as an aircraft, the combine above does its job with great efficiency. However, most combine owners still complain that it is a machine which begins to shake itself apart as soon as you crank it up. But it cuts bean bushes, separates the beans from stalks and hulls and spits the latter out the back while storing the former in its innards. All so you can have margarine, cooking oil, and the gazillion other things that come from soybeans.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

Each week we put all of our Corndancer and Weekly Grist pictures along with the ones we did not publish anywhere else in a special pictures only gallery. Click here to go there and see for yourself.

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

Rainy day solutions


What to do on a rainy day? Go out and see wet things, but first adjust your attitude. We covered a way to do that and we show you a couple of other rainy day pictures on Photo of the Week page at Corndancer  dot com. That’s where this whole thing started. Check it out here, a very cool thing to do.

Ud’n, ud’n!

Spray squirts from the truck as we hit the water covered gravel road at about 30 mph. Wow! Yippee! Ud'n, Ud'n!

Spray squirts from the truck as we hit the water covered gravel road at about 30 mph. Wow! Yippee! Ud'n, Ud'n!

Our trip took a turn down Lincoln County AR Road 2, a good gravel road. During a healthy rain, some of the road is covered by a few inches of water in places. If you have a pickup relatively impervious to water, a lead foot and a good attitude, you can make some spray about three times taller than the truck. I did it, grinning from ear to ear. You grow older, but you don’t have to grow up!

Someone’s ass is wet

This jenny (a mamma donkey) seems unfazed and could care less about being soaked.

This jenny (a mamma donkey) seems unfazed and could care less about being soaked. She may also think we're full of it for thinking that.

After the spray exercise, I came across a donkey, a jenny (the mamma kind). She was drenched. Thus, someone’s ass was all wet. She seemed to be taking being thoroughly soaked in stride. Some critters will head for shelter in a rain if it is available and some just don’t care. I like their attitude.

Ramshackled

If you blink, you'll miss this now well camouflaged former dwelling on Mabry Road in souther Jefferson County AR.
If you blink, you’ll miss this now well camouflaged former dwelling on Mabry Road in southern Jefferson County AR.

A bit further north on Mabry Road in Jefferson County AR, backed up to a cypress-lined bayou, is this old cabin and/or house. If conditions were the same when it was occupied as it is now, one could probably have fished off the back porch … or at least a few steps from it. The rain and wetness add some drama to the appearance and the greens are much greener.

Man your paint cans!

These rail cars were obviously in one place too long and the grafitti artists made good their spray-can attack. Being an old art director (among other things), I can see some takented handiwork here along with some applied forethought as to appearance.

These rail cars were obviously in one place too long and the graffiti artists made good their spray-can attack. Being an old art director (among other things), I can see some talented handiwork here along with some applied forethought as to appearance.

The reflections you see are in a “borrow pit” beside the railroad. The term comes from borrowing earth from the pit to build the road bet for the rail line. The common terminology has long since deteriorated to “bar pit.” I thought it was an epiphany the day I discovered what a “bar pit” really was.  For this image, the rain has stopped, but not before it filled the bar pit for these great reflective images, not available without, you guessed it, a rainy day.

Still yet, more sign perforations

One more in our continuing coverage of well ventilated stop signs in southern Arkansas. This one was smacked with a couple of big bore shots.

One more in our continuing coverage of well ventilated stop signs in southern Arkansas. This one was smacked with a couple of big bore shots.

Boys will still be boys. As the inimitable Flip Wilson would have said, ” … the devil made me do it.”

Thanks for dropping by for a dripping trip.
Joe Dempsey