Before moving from Virginia to Wyoming’s Wind River country in 1997, and the move to Colorado in 2008, I spent almost forty years documenting the vanishing people and landscapes of the Appalachians. Mine is a poetic and classic view of rural America, and I portray the land in a traditional and representational genre. Each of my museum-quality images is a projection of my artistry and my vision of the world. The spring of 2005 represented a major turning point in my life. I printed my last silver sulfide image. Far from being a sad moment for me, I have headed off in another direction using the latest in digital technology. Now at age 79, I am off on a new and exciting adventure. I now think Pixels rather than Silver Particles. But my view of the world around me has not changed. I am still inspired by the gentle, the noble and dignified, and the beautiful unfolding of life as I see it.
This is one of several old grist mills I documented during my early years as an artist. This one was located just west of Harrisonburg, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley.
Mr Turner was still actively operating the old mill at the time and I eventually lost track of him and his hobby. I checked with the local paper in that area several years ago to learn whether the mill was still there but no one could provide me with any information. I assume that it became history a few years following my visit.
First goal of the game. = Radford University versus NC State. = I have never considered myself to be a sports photographer, but I did capture a few decent images during my term at RU.
This was a big game and highly touted. Little RU taking on one of the top teams in the country. I won't say who won, but RU made the first score of the game and the crowd went wild. I had my camera set up on a tripod overlooking the arena and although I certainly did not expect what happened next, my finger pressed the shutter release real quick. I dislike motor drives, but I did make several rapid exposures and this is the one I liked best. Normally it is the first exposure that nails the image you anticipate. You will see more of this on my blog. = This was the decisive moment and I was ready.
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EARLY SETTLERS GRAVE SITE NEAR SOUTH PASS CITY, WY
When Henry Reedall struck pay dirt in 1867, one of the most god-forsaken areas in the country suddenly sprang into a boomtown. The mere mention of the word gold did crazy things to people and hordes of outsiders descended on South Pass from the nearby Oregon Trail. They all had dreams of getting rich quick, but only a few of the lucky ones were successful.
It only took three years for the town to go from boom to bust. South Pass City became a ghost town almost overnight.
One noteworthy historical fact emerged from this rough and ready frontier town. A saloonkeeper by the name of William Bright wrote and introduced a woman’s suffrage bill. The bill passed and the Governor signed it into history in December 1869. Wyoming became the first territory to allow women to vote and hold office. Esther Morris, a resident of South Pass City, was appointed justice of the peace in February 1870 making her the nation’s first female judge. She tried twenty-six cases.
There are still a few die-hard miners and prospectors who are either panning or digging for the illusive mother lode that always lay just beyond their grasp. Just like the ghosts that reportedly inhabit old South Pass City, the yellow gold is also lurking in some remote draw or beyond the next butte. GRAVE SITE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF SOUTH PASS CITY
A notation on the head stones reads: In memory of Earnest Williams Born in California 1901 Died in Atlantic City 1905 Son of EJ & AP Williams
Ma Belr Born Tuscarora, NV September 1880 Died November 9,1899 Daughter of AP & EJ Williams
To view more of Jack's work click on OLDER POSTS at the bottom of the page.