Preserving History

Living where I do in an area that was once a major center for tobacco growing, textile manufacturing and wood products, and which today has changed significantly due to the evolution of global business, I love seeing how local leaders take steps to the preserve the history of their community. This clock, for example, has been recently erected next to a large wall mural that portrays the history of Leaksville, North Carolina, established in 1797.

Waiting to Race

Martinsville, Virginia is home to the only NASCAR race track still operating from NASCAR’s first season in 1948. I live just two miles from the facility and as such am able to make photos when I want. NASCAR schedules two races annually here on the one-half mile oval (paperclip design) track and racing fans enjoy the up-close views and tight racing often creating a lot of “bumping and banging.” For years I attended each race along with 60,000-plus others. The pandemic curtailed that last year but it’s now back open to fans fully. Here are several images I made this week to show the facility is indeed “waiting to race.”

Telling a Story Photographically

I’m just a simple photo enthusiast who seeks ways to tell a story through my photos. While the technical aspects of each photo I make are important, I think it’s more important to have each image tell a story. Start with a wide view, for example, and then transition to a mid and lastly close-up composition. Like I did yesterday with a patch of Torch Lilies in my neighbor’s backyard.

At a Crossroad

Once there was a small, but thriving community of Axton, Virginia. Today, only a few empty buildings and a rusty water tower remain where two rural roads intersect. It’s a great place for photographers however, and that’s why I was there a few days ago.

The gray building I believe was once a small bank.
The faded sign on the front tells us this was once the Axton Furniture Store.
The old house is vacant and in sad shape, but the barn is still being used by a small adjacent farmstead. When I visit locations like this I like to envision what it would have been like to live there when the community was more than just the intersection 0f two roads.

One Big Antique

This restored Shell Gas station in Fieldale, Virginia is a favorite location of mine, given the owners desire to fill the building’s interior with a variety of antiques. Not only that, but he’s now displaying a partially restored 1950s era Studebaker Hawk automobile. In some ways, the Studebaker company was ahead of its time design wise and while popular, couldn’t compete for sales with major U.S companies such as General Motors and Ford. And then along came Toyota. Farewell Studebaker. Thus ends my brief look at a small part of U.S. auto history. Whatever, the car looks perfect in front of the Shell station.