23 September 2007
An anchor lets you see the river move...
I took these photos last Tuesday. I've been feeling kind of blah lately, so rather than revisit the familiar territory of Pulaski, I decided to drive up Rt. 460 toward Pearisburg and Narrows. About the only thing in Pearisburg that caught my eye was the Holiday Motor Lodge. The bright colors and 60's architecture initially pulled me in, but the place also appeals to me because it has history and texture (and a little soul), whereas most things these days are shiny and bland.
In Narrows, I walked around the pond downtown for about an hour, attempting to get a shot of a goose with its head beneath the water. The geese were having none of it, though; apparently they weren't in the mood to pose for photos, and they had no desire to splash around in the water like normal geese. They raised their heads and started sqwawking a bit louder when I approached them, probably anticipating a few crumbs from my convenience store sandwich. I was hungry, though, so instead of sharing my bologna and enriched bread, I tried to chase the geese into the pond so that I could get the goose-with-head-submerged shot that I wanted. I succeeded in rousing them from beneath their shade tree, but instead of heading for the pond they bolted across the highway and down into a feild where some children were playing kickball. After getting chased around the field by the school kids, a few geese relunctantly waddled back across the road, casting sidelong glances at my camera as they veered toward the opposite end of the pond.
The goose hunt was fun for a while, but I gradually lost interest, so I walked through town and took the shot of the door. It's a pretty boring shot, but I like that someone scratched "Me and God" into the paint. It also fits with the other shots in the post. I suppose the theme of the post could be "Cars, Stars and Bars," or something like that. I initially avoided the car at the VFW building, then realized (I think, anyway) that it's a better shot with the car than without it. The car sets up a nice tension between war, patriotism, and the car as a symbol of American power and prosperity. It's particularly fitting that the car is large, expensive, and American made.
In any case, that's some of what I was thinking when I took the VFW shot--at least in a vague, non-specific way. When I took the motel shots, I was thinking of a couple photos from Alec Soth's Niagra and Tema Stauffer's photo of an old sign for the Palm Air Motel in Florida. She uses the phrase "cheerful tawdriness" to describe her photo, and I may have been thinking of something like that when I took the Holiday Motor Lodge shot.