Going for the green


Water tower at Lake Dick Arkansas with approaching storm

July is a good time to look for afternoon thunderstorms. This one cropped up near Lake Dick, Arkansas in July of 2009. It was a perfect set of lighting conditions, strong late afternoon light and turbulent clouds in the background. The image is a study in Mother Nature’s complementary color distribution: Green, gold and blue talking to us.

Our world, on November 24, 2013, here in LA (lower Arkansas), is bitter cold (for us), blustery, and brown. I am not casting aspersions on these conditions, but am merely observing their presence. There is a bit of sticker shock however, as these are the coldest temperatures we have experienced thus far this year. To top that, as winters go, last winter was puny at best, so our systems are far removed from the last bone-chilling experiences in LA.

Hollow cypress tree near Grider Field Pine Bluff AR

Click on the tree to see the start of the story.

Though my duck hunting friends will likely disagree, I believe this is a really good time to be inside watching a football game (or working on a blog).

For those who bemoan these present conditions, I am offering archival selections of warmer and greener circumstances. You can see where this idea germinated on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where you will see, among other things, a hollow cypress tree surrounded by, you guessed it, green.

Storm clouds in sunset at Lake Dick Arkansas

A day earlier from the water tower shot above, across the road from the water tower, with the camera pointing away from the tower, the setting sun is painting the clouds in vibrant pinks and pseudo-oranges supported by grayish blues. Corn is silhouetted in the foreground. Just being there was a privilege from on high.

Water tower in rice field

A year later, in July of 2010, the field was planted with rice. This is about the same time of day as the storm pictures above, less the disturbances, but nevertheless, cool.

remote abandoned stairs hear lake dick arkansas

Not far from the water tower, earlier the same day, I found a stairway to nowhere. It was likely the front yard approach to a family farm which succumbed to economics. The land around the stairs was not cultivated at the time of the shot.

lady bug on winter wheat near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Just a few miles from the water tower, in April of 2011, we found a nearly ripe field of winter wheat. Turns out ladybugs think winter wheat as a home site is cool. I am told they are beneficial to the wheat crop, since nasty aphids are their favorite treat.

Since we are just days from the time to be grateful for what we have and the opportunities afforded by our blessings, please know, dear readers, that you are a blessing to me. Stay warm and well.

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

A lot of night music


Drummer Tim Dickerson with the Brian Austin band offers some drumstick gymnastics as additional entertainment to his rhythmic skills as a percussionist. The band is playing at the August 2, 2013 "Music on Main" concert on Main Street in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Drummer Tim Dickerson with the Brian Austin Band offers some drumstick gymnastics as additional entertainment to his rhythmic skills as a percussionist. The band is playing at the August 2, 2013 “Music on Main” concert on Main Street in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Link to corndancer dot-com

Click the pic to see more of the band and event

A group of enterprising downtown business and property owners in my home town of Pine Bluff, Arkansas decided that music just might be a good draw to bring folks downtown that had either lost the habit, or never developed the habit of “going downtown.”

The result of this line of thinking was “Music on Main,” a monthly free concert featuring quality musicians and entertainment. The events are always on a Friday evening and are always free. Speaking of free, you can see more “FREE” pictures of the band and event on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndander dot-com. Go forth and see. We will wait here.

The Brian Austin Band at Music on Main in Pine Bl;uff Arkansas

The boys in the band. The Brian Austin Band, set up and ready to rock, awaits the nod from the event producer to begin their performance. From left: Ronny Dickerson, bass; John Good, guitar; Hisself, Brian Austin, and Tim Dickerson, drums.

On this night, Friday, August 2, 2013, the humidity was high and the blues from the Brian Austin Band were as thick as Delta “buckshot.” (A word of explanation here for non-Delta readers, “buckshot” is a favored nickname for the thick, gummy, sticky, gumbo soils that are prevalent in some areas of the Delta).

The program included three bands. The Brian Austin Band was first up and is the source of the pictures and comment here. This is not the first time we have photographed the band. They are performers at Blues for a Cause, an event we are always pleased to attend and shoot.

John Good and Ronny Dickereson playing their instrucment

John Good on guitar and Ronny Dickerson on bass are in snyc and grooving as they belt out the blues on a humid Delta evening.

The darker side of Brian Austin.

The darker side of Brian Austin.

Brian Austin playing harmonica

Brian Austin, a multi-purpose musician wails away on the harp.

See more pictures from this event in our Music on Main gallery.

Drummer

Drummin’ after dark. Tim Dickerson gets on down with the blues.

Mature couple street dancing

After a while, one can no longer stay seated when the tunes are right. This was one of those times, so this couple got up and started jukin.’ And rightly so.

Brian Austin talks to little girl

During the performance, one of Brian Austin’s youngest fans wanted an audience with the leader. Austin, being a man of understanding, granted that request.

As should be expected, music fans of all stripes brought their lawn chairs and thirst for good, live musical entertainment. The audience was a good slice across the demographic grain of our community — which as I understand it — was the whole idea in the first place.

Music is the universal language. You either enjoy it, or you don’t. If you seek out or discover a venue favorable to your tastes and preferences and show up — in all likelihood you will enjoy what you see and hear — and have reasonable expectations that those who attend with you have the same uncontaminated intentions.

drummer

Click the pic to see our Music on Main gallery

But wait — there’s more!

We’ve created a gallery of 21 pictures from this fun event. See our Music on Main gallery and feel the sweat and music from the comfort of your own screen in air-conditioned comfort. It’s not quite as good as being there yourself, but it’s close.

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

A new place for an old home


Old dog trot house on pumpkin hill road rison ar

Until spring of 2010, this old home was in shambles, 47 miles or so to the west of where it now sits  on Pumpkin Hill Road southeast of Rison, Arkansas enjoying early morning sun in mid-November. The old structure is the former home of Bob Abbott’s grandfather. Bob thought the old home was worth saving. So he did.

In 2010, Bob Abbott decided it was high time to move his grandfather’s old dogtrot house from Smead, Arkansas to his place on Pumpkin Hill Road southeast of Rison, Arkansas. The old house had been in its original location since the late 1800s and was no longer owned by the family.  It was not in good condition. In fact, Bob was told by many that the old house was well past restoration and that the move was a bad idea. Bob disagreed and finally found an individual who agreed with his disagreement. He made a deal with the current owners and the move was on.

Old dog trot house

Click on the house for more pictures and info.

After come careful jacking and loading, the old house was on a trailer and ready to roll. The trip from Smead to Pumpkin Hill Road was in the neighborhood of 47 miles, mainly over back county roads and secondary state highways. See some details of the pre-load condition of the house in our earlier story: The Old House at Smead.

Fortunately the trip was reasonably uneventful and the moving crew safely delivered the ancient cargo to the Pumpkin Hill location. Then the real fun began: Reassembling a house without all its parts. Some parts were simply beyond salvage and the builders had to substitute newer materials and make them fit.

Before we go too much further. may we suggest that you check out the start of this story on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. You’ll see more pictures and get additional information.

front view of dog trot house showing dog trot breezeway

You are looking down the dogtrot breezeway from the front of the house. The kitchen side is to the right. The bedroom is to the left. This is close to the original structure of the home. In later years, the homeowners closed the dogtrot at both ends and made a big central room. This was a common practice as families grew, an early no-brainer for a quick room addition.

the back side of a dog trot house

Here’s a 180, looking at the dog-trot breezeway from the back porch.

A look inside

Dogtrot houses in their basic form have two rooms separated by a breezeway. One side has sleeping  and “living” quarters, the other side has a kitchen and dining area. In almost all dogtrot houses, the family eventually made additions to the structure. This one is the two-room version.

bedroom in dog trot house

This is the bedroom complete with iron bed, ladder-back chairs and a vintage Singer Sewing Machine. There are two windows, one to the photographer’s back and the one you see to the left. There is also a door to the back porch. The walls, ceiling and floor are original equipment.

bedroon in dogtrot house showing breezeway

Looking at the bedroom from the front corner showing the entrance door from the breezeway. The wide angle lens necessary to capture this image has distorted the door to nearly twice its size.

Interior of dog trot house bedroom

The home entertainment corner of the bedroom consisting of a 78-rpm Victrola and a couple of chairs. The dresser has a picture and wash bowl.

kitchen in dog trot house

The kitchen has the expected cast-iron stove, a table – and chairs for mom and dad – and benches for everyone else. For ultimate convenience of the times there’s also a sink, pantry, and cupboard.

Kitchen in dog trot house

The kitchen from a slightly different angle.

view of dog trot house kitchen

Another view of the kitchen. This time with hanging aprons. Nice touch.

dogtrot house on pumpkin hill road rison ar

Here’s one more look from the front in mid-afternoon sun.

There’s more on Pumpkin Hill Road

We’ve visited Bob Abbott’s place on Pumpkin Hill Road before, but for those of you who are not familiar with the place, you’ll also find The Traveler, a fully restored and working (but not rolling) executive rail car from a bygone era. You can learn more on The Traveler in our original Corndancer story, Traveler’s Rest and our Weekly Grist version of Traveler’s Rest.

The Traveler railroad executive private car

The Traveler was once the private car of the president of the former St. Louis and Southwestern Railroad, known popularly as the “Cotton Belt” line.

Chapel on Pumpkin Hill Road

There’s also a Chapel on the property, popular for small weddings, memorial services, and other church meetings and events.

Tree top reflection in lake

This tree-top reflection in a lake on the Pumpkin Hill Road place looks akin to any number of French impressionist works.

And as a parting shot, there’s a fine lake on the property. I saw a tree-top reflection in the water. It’s the Almighty’s version of French impressionists made available to me. And to you.

Lake on Pumpkin Hill Road

Click on the lake for our special Pumpkin Hill Road gallery

Pumpkin Hill Gallery

We have created a special gallery of 19 pictures of the place on Pumpkin Hill Road which are larger and better resolution than normal web presentation.

If you would like to see the Pumpkin Hill Corndancer and Weekly Grist pictures larger and in greater detail this gallery is for you. Click here.

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

Top of the blues to ya!


drummer at the 2012 blues music awards

This drummer seems to be having the time of his life as he performs with his band in the 2012 Blues Music Awards in the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee, May 10, 2012. I had to squeeze my ungainly frame between a couple of shipping containers to get the shot but cannot argue with the results.

Being a blues fan and a photographer — and hovering around the stage — and shooting the 2012 Blues Music Awards at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee is a highly desirable combination of circumstances I recently enjoyed. You can get in on the start of this story on the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot-com. We’ll wait here until you come back.

Johnny Sansone

Click on the harp player for more pictures

The room was packed with performers and blues fans from around the planet, in fact, you’ll see a picture of international blues standout Ian Seigal below as he performed in the program.  The format of the program alternated between conferring awards with performances by bands and individuals, many of whom received awards that night and previously. It was hold on to your hats, let the good times roll. Before the night was over the audience was dancing in the aisles. Upward to 2,000 attended the event. Attendees dictated the dress code which went from black tie to blue jeans — and it was all smiles.

Eric Bibb

Eric Bibb, 2012 Blues Music Award Acoustic Artist of the Year turned in an energetic performance. As you watched and listened you knew that every fiber in his being was going into his tunes.

As an art form, the Blues is purely American and purely southern in it roots. Past that, you’ll find blues fans in every corner of the earth. Though the uninformed might consider the blues to be a somber expression, nothing is further from the truth. In most performances, even the most jaded cynics can be seen tapping their fingers or moving their feet. The true believers are playing air guitars and grinning from ear-to-ear. It was that kind of night. The music was infectious in a good sort of way.

Wayne Russell

Wayne Russell, normally found playing bass in the Reba Russell band (she’s his wife), was providing his stellar services to another band in the program. Russell is not only a talented musician but is a gifted visual artist as well.

Ian Siegel

Ian Siegal performs in the 2012 Blues Music Awards. The misty appearance adds some oomph to to the back room blues ambiance of this picture.

Grady Champion who bills himself as “The Mississippi Bluesman” was the closing act. As the program wound down, he wound up and had the audience on its feet, clapping, tapping their feet and dancing in the aisles. Everyone left with a smile on their faces. Mind you, the program runs from 7:oo p.m. until 1:00 a.m. At 1:00 a.m., there was still a respectable and happy crowd left.

Grady Champion

As he whipped the audience into a happy frenzy as the closing act, Grady Champion turned to me and smiled. I took the hint.

I shot just over 2,700 exposures and filled four 8-gig cards and part of another. I selected 107 images to include in the galleries linked below. You should get an idea of the great celebration by taking a tad of time to peruse the pictures.

2012 Blues Music Awards Gallery 1
2012 Blues Music Awards Gallery 2
2012 Blues Music Awards Gallery 3
2012 Blues Music Awards Gallery 4

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

Looking for leaves, finding a dog


concrete blue tick hound

Click on the hound for the original Weekly Grist post.

A nagging itch for mountain air

The last week of October, 2010, I had this terrible itch to breathe some mountain air, so I conjured up the fantasy that I was about to miss some of the best days of the spectacular Ozarks fall leaf display.

Sufficiently armed with this fallacy, and relishing the thoughts of time in the Ozarks, I headed north for an over-niter to Marshall, the epicenter and main place in mountainous Searcy County, Arkansas.

concrete blue tick hound with basket

Click on the dog for the original Corn Dancer story.

Although I beat the peak of the leaves by a week or so, I was not disappointed, having stumbled across some other cool stuff including a couple of blue tick hounds cast in concrete. Now folks, that’s something most souls will never see. Remember, you saw it here first.

The second day, I meandered west and south from Marshall to find Snowball, Arkansas, the last stop before you head into largely uninhabited mountainous bliss. You’ll find former residences and old home places which show evidence of once being populated — places that spur your imagination and are rife with pregnant photo-ops — the underlying reasons for the trip.

See our original Weekly Grist post for gory details and take a short cyber-trip to the original Corndancer Photo of the Week story to find out how it all started. Also see our Weekly Grist Gallery from October 31, for more trip pictures.

Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

The camellia returneth


Closeup of camellia bloom

Up close and personal with a camellia bloom on the bush outside our kitchen window. While most flowers are internally governed to bloom on time, this one has scrambled instructions. It has bloomed as early as December and as late as March. We never know for sure until we see the red tips on the buds.

I’d like to claim credit for the blooms on this magnificent plant, but such claims would trip the breakers and sound an alarm as the truth and veracity test notifies all that I prevaricate. The truth is — the former and first owner of our residence was a dedicated gardener and saw fit to plant the camellia outside the kitchen window.

Click on on the bloom for the original story

Click on the bloom for the original pix and story

The plant is apparently as tough as an anvil, because other than water in the summer and an occasional pruning, it does not get much attention. Despite this shabby treatment, it continues to hold forth with its dazzling display.

We originally extolled the virtues and aggravations of this budding flower factory on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com with a story and more pictures. We’ll wait here while you look.

Camellia blooms against the sky

On the way to this condition, the plant has been parched, covered with ice, pelted with hail and generally left to its own devices. This sucker has has to have Divine Intervention on its side. These blooms are at the top of the bush. Big bare oak limbs are blurred in the background.

See more camellia blooms in our Weekly Grist Gallery

That the plant survives at all is a miracle given the lack of attention it suffers. Not only does it survive, it is prolific. We make it known in our neighborhood that when this thing is blooming, help yourself. The same goes for the mail man and UPS lady. There will be plenty to take the place of those you pick.

The cantankerous plant tends to hide its best blooms behind foliage, making it difficult to get good shots without a little outside interference to its nefarious design. Big plastic background clamps to the rescue. To photographers, background clamps are right up there with duct tape and baling wire.

Camera and clamps on bush to hold foliage out of the way

Big ol' plastic background clamps hold foliage out of the way and do no harm to the plant. Once the clamps are removed, the twigs snap back in to place. One clamp is also holding a white balance card to the left of the bloom. The camera was much closer to the plant during the actual shots.

 Mind you, no plants were harmed in producing this story — other than well-documented callous neglect. Since it does so well on it’s own, I am not going to mess with it. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Close up of camellia

Click on the pretty poesy for more pix

See more of the camellia

In our Weekly Grist Gallery. You’ll find six larger, high resolution pictures of the flowers and their redness. Guaranteed all natural, double your money back if not completely satisfied, no coupons needed.

Shoes and shirt not required for viewing.  Click and look.

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

Late bird, early spring


Robin with worm

It was late in the day when when this fat robin, flying in the face of tradition, once and for all proved that the early bird is not the only one to get the worm.

I start looking for the yellow presence of Jonquils at the tail-end of February and the first week in March. Last year, I found my first ones on February 20, this year, I saw fully developed and happy Jonquils on February 7. In that condition, one can safely presume they have been there a few days.

robin on stump

Click on the bird for another picture of him at Corndancer dot-com

Here in LA, it’s been an anemic, puny winter with days topping out in the high 60 and low 70 degree range. That makes for severe weather, sinus trouble, and plants with their schedule out of whack. Which is why I found the bird.

Earlier in the week, on the way to jury duty, I saw the Jonquils but could not stop to shoot. When I returned late one afternoon a few days later to shoot the flowers, Cock Robin was sitting on the broken stump of a tree which had earlier succumbed to a big wind.

I was able to shoot from the truck so he did not spook as soon as most wild critters do. Since the lot is about two feet higher than the street, I got him eyeball to eyeball in the Nikon glass.

See more of the bird and flowers in our Weekly Grist Gallery

In fact when I arrived, he was on the stump without the worm, took a dive, grabbed the worm and returned to his perch most of which I captured. It is always better to be lucky than good. See the first shot of the robin and the early jonquils I was after where this story started on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. We will wait here while you look.

Early spring volunteer jonquils

The target jonquils, despite their lack of human attention, were doing quite well thank you very much. Originally planted by former residents of the long since demolished house, the plants continue to follow the genetic instructions imbued by the Almighty. Some things are best left alone.

Anytime one discusses spring flowers, my across-the-street-neighbor’s yard cannot be overlooked. She is a master gardener and her yard and flower beds are silent witness to her considerable skills. Her horticultural efforts offset the lack of same in my yard. I suppose it is some sort of vegetative equation if there is such a thing.

yellow and black pansy

This stout little pansy at my neigbhors is tougher than it looks. It has survived a couple of sub-freezing nights.

See more of the bird and flowers in our Weekly Grist Gallery

Large jonquil

This is a large Jonquil in my neighbor's yard. This one looks like a bloom on steroids compared to others. Must be the green thumb.

robin on ground

Click on the bird for our Weekly Grist Gallery

Mother Nature is messing with us and it’s not the first time, nor will it be the last. We simply are not in charge. But we can enjoy birds and flowers without too many foot pounds of energy expended.

In fact, with a mere click, you can see more of them in our Weekly Grist Gallery. Click here and take a gander.

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

Fall, falling down, and ferrous oxide


line of old cars

A '54 Oldsmobile 88 leads a stationary parade of old cars. The second in line appears to be a '59 Ford. The third car is anybody's guess. The cars are in a "used" car lot on Arkansas HIghway 16 west of Heber Springs, Arkansas.

old corn crib falling down

Click on the corn crib for more pictures

I started out on a fall color trip and found plenty of colors on Arkansas Highway 16 in the central Ozark Mountains — and more than I bargained for. I found rust and ruination, old barns and more.

The story of this trip actually started on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where I found an old corn crib about to fall down across the highway from this old car. Take at look the corn-crib picture and a couple of others, we’ll wait here until you get back.

1954 Oldsmobile 88

The old Olds deserved a close-up portrait to properly reveal what's left of its former glory. These models could burn some serious rubber. What was once a cool ride now reminds you of the guy down the street with snaggle teeth and a dirty shirt.

The old Olds and a number of other mostly fifties vintage automobiles are stored in a lot at the corner of, get ready for this, “Toothfairy Lane” and Heber Springs Road (Arkansas Highway 16). That’s right up there with “Mad Dog Hill Lane,” about 60 miles or so to the east of this location, which I have photographed twice . (You’ll need to scroll down at both link locations).

Toothfairy Lane street sign

This is not contrived. The old cars in a lot at Toothfairy Lane and Heber Springs Road, a.k.a. Arkansas Highway 16.

See all 16 pictures from this trip in a larger format in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

Highway 16 winds through a lot of sparsely populated countryside which ain’t a bad deal if you are looking for some serenity as you travel — and you never know quite what to expect. I came across a huge pasture in the midst of which was an old Ford 9N tractor sitting on three wheels and a jack. I’m thinking the local parts house does not stock a lot of Ford 9N tractor stuff.

Old Ford tractor broken down in field

The forlorn old Ford tractor is broken down in a field right close to as big as three Wal-Mart Super Center parking lots — or there about.

 Closer to home, there is an old Chevy truck, a 41 or 42 model, (I can’t be sure, they are very similar),  which I have longed to photograph. The old klunker is in plain,unobstructed sight from the Princeton Pine (a.k.a. Arkansas Highway 190) west of Pine Bluff, our spiritual headquarters.  Only problem is I can never catch it in the right light or by itself. The owner is in the salvage business and he leans used “for sale” stuff against it, knowing that people will always look in that direction.

1941 Chevy truck

Official portrait of my favorite 1941 (or 42) Chevrolet bob truck.

Got lucky today. The good news was, the stuff was gone. The bad news: the truck was back lit — conditions less than ideal. About the time I was about to mutter under my breath The Master Weatherman sent a cloud between the truck and the sun — which evened the light. Got my shots. Life is good.

side view 1942 chevy bob truck

A three-quarter view of the old truck with a curious horse in the background.

 By the way, for the uninitiated, “ferrous oxide” is another name for “rust.” Whereas millions of individuals believe that rust and cloudy days are undesirable conditions, we have today proven them wrong and misinformed. Without rust, our old vehicles would have no aging patina. Without the clouds, we’d have no truck pictures. I rest my case.

See all 16 pictures from this trip in a larger format in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

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

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

Ogle this store, and more


Ogles store front

Ogles Store at Collins, Arkansas sold its first piece of merchandise in 1874. Doy Ogle, grandson of the original proprietor, John Ogle, owns and operates the store today. The store's inventory includes more than the average person can imagine. Here we see shovels, a wheelbarrow wheel, a cricket box, fishing poles, extension cord, vacuum cleaner, wheel ring, a chain hoist, and other whatchamacallits and doo-dads which defy description.

 Ogles Store in Collins, Arkansas is the only game in town. The closest other stores are 15 miles west and eight miles east. It wasn’t always that way. Not long after Ogles opened its doors in 1874, there were seven other stores in Collins all vying for the same customers. Now 137 years later, Ogles is still at it which tells us that they’ve been doing something right since the git-go. Collins is south of Seven Devils Swamp, west of Dermott, Arkansas, and east of Monticello, Arkansas, just in case you were curious.

Doy Ogle

Click on Doy Ogle for more Ogle Store pictures

Ogle more at Ogles

This story started on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. Go there to get in on the start of this story and see pictures of the inside of the store. Also get  a bit more store information. We’ll wait here while you visit.

To get into the store, you must stroll through merchandise displayed at the approach to the front door. As you look at what’s offered, you know you are not shopping at the average store. Let’s face it. Where else could you find fuel cans, circular saw blades, antique signs, a trailer hitch, a kitchen canister, a couple of old bug sprayers, an extension cord, a child’s stool, and a sledge hammer all conveniently arranged for immediate inspection? Precious few I suspect.

table of merchandise at country store

The east outdoor shopping display at the entrance to Ogles Store. If you are of a curious nature, Ogles is like a candy store for persons of your ilk.

When you reach the front door, the selections continue. Clothing, fireplace tools, extension cords, a drill press next to a floor lamp and more. You also see a plethora of signs and notifications on the front doors. Do not despair, you will not be tested on the content of these.

See more pictures of Ogles store plus more from this trip on our Weekly Grist Gallery

Front door at Ogles

A whole world lies waiting behind door number one.

Cruising through south Arkansas, my main image hunting grounds, I find subjects to which I will return when the light is better or when I have time to make the shot. The old store at Coleman, Arkansas was high on that list and has now been checked off. The old gas pump, home-made window grids, “coal-oil” pump were too much to resist.

Old store front at Coleman Arkansas

The "coal-oil" pump and the gas pump at Coleman Store at Coleman, Arkansas are easy to explain. The potty, I'm not so sure. At least it is a good place to take a seat out of the 100° sun.

 At the junction of Arkansas Highways 277 and 54, you will find Coleman Store, at Coleman Arkansas. Congratulations. You and I can find it, but Google can’t. They don’t know what they are missing, which is a fine old store.

Home made campaign sign

Several miles further south, less than a quarter of a mile from one of our favorite places, Selma Methodist Church, at Selma Arkansas, the 2012 campaign has kicked off — with Krylon and the side of a barn.

Critters do what they can to beat the heat. This nice looking buckskin is standing in the pond, probably pondering the idea of venturing deeper. His cow friends will have no such trepidations. They will go leg-deep into a pond in a heart beat.

buckskin in a pond

Come on in, the water's fine. Honest. Notice the bare ground at the edge of the pond. Where the grass starts is the normal water line. It's been a while since south Arkansas has had a significant rain. My buddies down in Cleveland County tell me it's so dry they're catching catfish out of the Saline River with ticks on 'em.

See more pictures  from this trip on our Weekly Grist Gallery

Tall cotton

Almost everyone has heard the term "standin' in tall cotton." Well friends, this is real-live tall cotton. The outside rows nearly hit me in the chin and I am 6-3" tall. (Formerly 6-6" tall until the onset of multiple birthdays).

On the way home, sunset started happening at McGehee, Arkansas. The sun had dipped behind the fine cypress trees in Wiley McGehee Memorial park on the west side of U.S. Highway 65.

Sun behind cypress at Wiley McGehee Memorial Park

Sunset behind the cypress at Wiley McGehee Memorial Park, McGehee, Arkansas. Nice.

I arrived just in time to catch the sun behind the trees and sun colors across the deer grass and water in which the cypress stand. The timing was dumb luck and perfect. The Lord continues to take care of fools and drunks.

Selma Methodist Church

Click on the church for more pictures

SEE MORE on our Weekly Grist Gallery.

More store. More of this trip including Selma Methodist Church – 29 pictures in all in a larger format.

See a curious cow, the highway patrol and wreckers at the site of an 18 wheeler breakdown and more in our Weekly Grist Gallery.

Thanks,
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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