Thursday, September 27, 2007

Family Tree

So as it turns out sorting though 40 years of slides while trying to get to know the family inhabiting the world in cased in those metal boxes, takes a lot of time. More then I originally thought. I’ve been working on a time line of events and a family tree, but there are a few people that I’ve come across that seem to not be friends but don’t really fit into the tree neatly, any way I thought I would put up what I’ve got so far.
The photo is of who I think is Chuck’s Father’s (EJR) sister Helen and Chuck, it was taken in 1945. If Helen isn’t a relative she must have been a dear family friend because thus far she seems to be around a great deal and was in one slide labeled Family


Part of what makes up place is how it changes over time. Last winter when I was out photographing with my Father we happened to be in Moodus. He and my Mother use to work at a factory called Brownell co. and hadn’t seen it in years so we set out in that direction. Brownell was Founded in 1825 to supply twisted line and fiber ropes, cords and nets to commercial fisherman; now they produce everything from archery chord, tennis nets to cargo nets for helicopters. When we first turned into the ice covered driveway just in front of us on the left was two strange metal structures covered in brittle vines. As it turns out these structures were built by my Father to test cargo nets. After a little digging Dad found photo of them in their hay day being used.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Going Home

My favorite thing about photographing in the area around where I grew up, which happens to be a small town, so I’m sure this is similar for any one who frequents those types of towns, are the people and their stories. Their personalities and hearts that are part of making up the landscape in which they inhabit. Every time I get in my car and just drive in circles around dirt roads that I’ve seen for years but never driven down before searching, when ever I stop I meet some of the most kind spirited, and interesting people. If it were not for them and their consistent reworking of their land, and desire to hold onto the life that they have always known in this place as it is rapidly changing and more houses and roads are being built, I would have no one to go home to.
This particular photo of the wood stacked on the front porch, belonged to an older gentleman, who grew up in this house. He now lives there with his elderly mother and a nurse who helps him care for her, both of which only speak polish. When his mother, who was just a child and his grand parents emigrated here from Poland they bought this farmhouse in the mid 1900 (it was built in 1812). He told me that it is built of chestnut, and will never have to be rebuilt, because, it’s the strongest wood there is and it will never rot. The farm is still in operation and he hays the land and sells firewood; he also keeps a beehive.
Route 207, Lebanon CT © 2007 Amanda Kilton

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Flea Market Find

My Other Family
Every Sunday Morning from May though November there is a flea market at the Mansfield Drive In Theater & Marketplace. Being my Mother’s daughter (and my Grandmother’s granddaughter and my Aunt’s niece for that matter) I can’t resist a little treasure hunt. So whene
ver I’m in the area I drive over a little after 8 with my Mother (the key is not getting there too early because the venders won’t be set up, but if you get there late they’re breaking down their stations). Amongst the old belt buckles, teapots, car parts, costume jewelry, designer bags and jeans, dollar store bargains, and postcards there’s the occasional photographic treasure. Typically they are buried at the bottom of a box of 649 curled up and torn black and white photos from some estate sale or busted but beautiful old Brownie or Polaroid cameras. One Sunday last June just as we were getting ready to head home, there they were, stacked ever so neatly on a blue tarp. Seven shining metal boxes packed full of slides, organized, labeled and dated from around 1945 though the mid seventies. Little Chuck and Bill, growing though nearly 40 years in these tiny boxes. My Other Family, I thought I would introduce them – not really in any chronological order, they will appear from time to time. This one is Labeled on the slide “Chevy 1955” it also happens to be of Chuck (on the right) and Bill (left).

Unknown Photographer © 1955

Sunday, September 16, 2007

In The Car with Pop K

Just for a little background info, I photograph in southeastern Connecticut – around the area I grew up in. I’m really interested in history and the impact it has on place excreta. Any way that’s not the point, more often then not when I go out photographing, my father comes along with me. He’s good company and always helps me cart all my equipment (occasionally on long hikes and often though the woods). We chat about this and that, I like to hear his opinions on locations. This week I had him bring along a digital camera to take some photos of his own. Among other various planned stops, I had been thinking about going to this area of route 11, a CT. state highway between Hartford and New London (via route 2). The thing about route 11 is that it is about only half completed and it currently ends in Salem, construction began in 1966 but was halted due to funding and the half – finished express way opened in 1972. So there we were on these odd bridges that were built and never used for their intended purpose, but more for people off roading, quading or partying, and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to photograph. That’s when Pop K came out with this weeks featured bit of advice… Shot what’s not there. Cheesy or corny or whatever it maybe – I thought it was rather great advice especially in this case, I was in such a no where place, why try and find something to make it look more then what It was. So these are his photos.
photos: Untitled Route 11 © 2007 Kevin Kilton