Saturday, February 16, 2008

Headlines... as promised.

I promised you some headlines to keep things interesting while I'm in the Okefenokee, so here they are...

1. Photographer on mission gets cursed out and threatened by 80-year old man

The Legend of GrouchyOldMan

Two weeks ago, while traveling through Dahlonega, Georgia with my friend, Jim Evans, I was cursed out by an 80-year old man. True!

It all began innocently enough, as Jim and I were taking photos around an old, crumbling wooden house that was being set upon by an encroaching new neighborhood development. As we continued to explore, we discovered the remains of several vintage cars spanning several decades. The more we explored, the more we discovered. It turned out to be some sort of a service station that was abandoned years ago and just left for Nature to take over. And take over she did! Many of the cars were hard to even see, due to their being covered by vines, leaves, and assorted debris. And, this is in the middle of Winter. Think of how difficult they'd be to see when the trees filled out with their Spring leaves.

While we were shooting, Jim noticed a house nearby that looked occupied, and also looked like it could be part of this property.

I walked up to the street and over to the house, where an older gentleman (we'll call him a gentleman for now) was just opening his front door. I kept my distance on the street (so as not to alarm him) and asked him about the property next door. He seemed nice enough, but couldn't hear me, so I stepped onto his driveway and he walked closer to me. As we got within handshake distance, I told him about the Vanishing America project and how I'm aiming to show people some history before it's all gone.

Well, something about the way I said that, or the camera I was holding, or something else, triggered a reaction in this man that went off the charts. He immediately began yelling at me, cursing at me in the foulest language, called me an asshole photographer trying to ruin him, and berated me at length. I figured I'd let him vent, and then when he calmed down, I could tell him why I was there. He never calmed down. He continued for a full five minutes (I looked at my watch). Eventually, I told him I was sorry he misunderstood my intentions and I began walking away. He followed me for over 100 yards, yelling, screaming, and threatening me.

Well, enough was enough. I don't know what exactly set me off, but I began firing back at him for insulting me without provocation. By this time, Jim walked up (expecting a pleasant dialogue) and was shocked into another world by this war going on between generations.

After a few more insults were traded, Jim and I got in the car and drove away in disgust, dismay, and disappointment. So much for Southern Hospitality.

But all was not lost. The battle for good was won after all.
Before we left, I managed to get some very nice images of that discarded piece of Americana that was once a service station.

2. First sponsor comes on board Vanishing America

I think my last post announced the arrival of The Shop as Vanishing America's first sponsor. If you have a Land Rover or Range Rover, and live in North Georgia, call Luke at The Shop in Norcross. He is an expert on these British coaches and is a genuinely nice guy. Tell him you I sent you!

3. Best ab workout ever!

Step one: Hang out with people who have the flu. Preferably children -- their germs are easier to catch.
Step two: Catch the flu.
Step three: Cough until you feel like your head is going to explode.
Step four: Repeat ad infinitum... every hour, every day until you're so sore you can't sit up straight.
Step five: Show off that new six-pack!

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