Saturday, June 11, 2011
Seattle is one of my most favorite cities in the world.. There is something different about this place and you can feel it as soon as you get off the plane- The cool weather, the people connected to everything and everyone through the technology that seems to have come from here. It's a modern day hippy-ish type town that seems to ooze young hip energy and laid back fisherman's wharf beauty. Reminds me of San Francisco before it became the center of oddville.. My cameras and I love this town and every time I leave it, I immediately begin to long to go back- The rest of the few personal images I shot you can see by clicking >HERE<
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Like so many other times on road trips I just go try to find something that interests me.. Almost every single time I do this, you will find me off the well known path that others travel and way out in the boonies- Today I wanted to go back by where I shot the stills and video a couple weeks ago I called, "I'd Rather Stand By A Friend," to find the owner of that property and give them the video. I knocked on a couple of doors but failed to find the right people. So off I went driving around like I do- Somewhere between Alvarado and Grandview, I spotted a train bridge and that was that.. In the end I found myself trekking down under the bridges of the freeway, down by an old creek, and amongst some beautiful things that most people will miss.. Here are some of those things I did not expect.
Posted by Michael Zukerman at 8:48 PM
On a drive sort of southeast from Fort Worth in Grandview Texas, just by chance I met a new friend today.. A friend who allowed me onto her property to photograph some very old and simple things.. Things that hold important and meaningful childhood memories that she guards closely with her heart.. She told me she had never in all these years ever allowed anyone other than family to set one foot closer than the road to those memories and that it was her father's words to be wary and careful, that would keep her and them, safe.. Her father wise and proud has since passed away but his words are still true and alive in her mind but the old houses 100 years old and more where her grandparents once lived and where she played in and around when she was a little girl, are falling apart at the Davis family farm. She won't tear them down because they hold too many memories of times when things and people were so very different- The important things back then were getting the work done in the fields, keeping one's word to others and helping your neighbors survive.. She can't let those memories go and who could-
I took a lot of photographs and had some fun with some really friendly cows who oddly all gathered around my car when I wasn't looking and were licking the tires, the bumpers and the windows! Strangest thing I have ever seen and I have some photos of them too when I can get them posted. Thank you Diana for your trust and for sharing some of your memories with this stranger who was lucky enough to find a new friend today.. More photos when I can get them done.
Posted by Michael Zukerman at 4:23 PM
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
On a little stretch just outside Cleburne Texas there's an airport with a grass runway, a church, and Owengene Blackwood.. You don't notice the airport from the road and that's just fine with Mr Blackwood.. But you'll miss more than you might expect.. Owengene got his name eighty seven years ago from two uncles Owen, and Gene. His mother wanted to name him after one or the other and couldn't decide which, so she just went with Owengene.. Rumor has it that the Blackwoods who owned a lot of land in that area had stolen it from the indians who had been there long before.. I got this story from a man who owned the flea market across the street whose daddy before him, had bought their land from the Blackwoods some sixty years ago.. I was on my Sunday road trip and I wanted to get a look at this grass runway so I drove over to the little airport and the photo's here help tell the story of the Fly In Church, and a very small part of Owengene Blackwoods life..
As I drove up I notice in front of the tin roofed hangers where old dusty once proud motor birds sit idle, was a little building with a sign by the window that read: "The Fly In Church.." There's a light on in the other window just above a podium with a cross on the front.. An open bible sits on top the bright red painted podium.. No one is inside but it's clear at some point God's business had been going on in there.. The windows were dusty, the door was padlocked.. On a table just inside the door were four more bibles.. I begin to shoot.. From a road leading back to the runway, along comes a red pickup with Owengene Blackwood at the wheel.. I told him I was a photographer on a road trip and I quickly learned Owengene doesn't hear so good.. He wears a hearing aide, but it's of little use.. Owengene talks really loud, I mean really really loud, because he can't hear himself.. So I had to show him what I was doing.. As he talked a little about his hand he burned on some grease a few weeks ago, I shot a couple images of him in his pickup and then turned and shot one of his reflection in his side mirror and showed it to him.. He got a big grin on his face, even laughed a little and said he thought that photo was the darnedest thing he'd ever seen.. I'm proud he said that to me and that it made him smile.. I asked if we could go inside the little church so I could shoot a few images and he told me "oh no can't do that.. It's dirty in there" and "I got my income tax papers laying around.. Can't let you shoot that.." I promised I wouldn't shoot his income tax papers and he said well I guess it'll be alright, so we went in..
Owengene told me about his friend Elvis (real name) used to come on Sundays 9am sharp to do some preachin'. Said Elvis wasn't a real preacher, "he just knew the bible real good.." Elvis had his own parking space outside.. The only one who ever did.. The sign still there but rusted over like so many things in Owengene's life now reads: "Elvis Only Reserved Parking Elvis Only".. Owengene showed me what he called a juke box where they put in the music for the services.. Said someone must have taken the music with them, cause he couldn't find it and wanted me to hear it.. Then Owengene sat down in a chair and told me some Sundays every chair was filled.. Must have been 10 chairs in there all together.. Then Owengene got quiet while I was shooting.. He talks so loud and when you look his way he talks even louder cause he wants you to hear what he has to say.. Owengene I think was remembering his friends.. the Sundays.. his flying buddies.. The music wasn't playing and he wanted it to.. It had been a while since the last service and I think Owengene hadn't been inside the little church since then.. I shot a few more images then we walked outside and Owengene locked the door.. He told me "you can do whatever you want here young feller".. I laughed.. I haven't been a young feller in so long it just struck me funny.. Owengene Blackwood was warmin' up to me I think.. So I drove back towards the runway Owengene in tow and got out of the car and went over to thank Mr Blackwood for letting me do some shooting there and the talks we had about his life and the church.. He got out of his truck and left the keys inside.. I said let me get those for you, he said "oh I don't take the keys out, I'll forget where I put em".. Made perfect sense to me.. He told me "just do whatever you want but watch out for those planes comin' in".. I doubt there has been a plane come in there for a long time, but I said I sure would and I shook his good hand one more time and he went inside his house that sits right there on the property of his airport.. Wasn't two minutes went by and here he comes yelling "Mike I need to tell you my wife's name is Helen.. That's the most important thing," he said.. I got it.. I really got it.. Owengene has probably always had his priorities right.. He has a half dozen goats that don't have names, a guard dog named Sandy that will lick you to death, and a stray dog just named Dog.. He wanted me to know the elevation there at his airport is 830 feet.. Told me that several times.. "It's important to know the wind speed and the elevation when you're flying" he said.. Then he went back inside.. I shot my images and I had a good day with a man who made me laugh, and made me think about what's really important in life..
and that was my Sunday with Owengene Blackwood..
IN MEMORIAL - 12-24-2009
On Christmas eve I was informed at the end of watching "It's a beautiful Life," as the credits rolled I read an eamil from a beautiful lady I had never met telling me that Mr Blackwood had passed away that day suddenly. So many will miss this kind and gentle man who no doubt was put on this earth to show the rest of us how to live a good and decent god fearing life. Rest well my friend, your work here is done.
"When our time is up we won't know where we'll be or why. So often is the case we won't have time to look back and make sure our footprints leave our loved ones proud. Best to make sure that every day we live life like it might be our last. I got the feeling from my short time with Mr Blackwood that he was a good and gentle man and that his footprints here on earth would be lessons for every one of us. God needed him sooner than we were ready to see him go.
Mr Blackwood the elevation no longer 830 feet, it is immeasurable and you were cleared for take off by the king of kings. We will all fly with you again one day. Watch over us all. Godspeed.." - Mike Zukerman
Posted by Michael Zukerman at 5:21 AM