On the Road

I was out one day by wherever it is I was and shooting photos of the ‘this stuff’ and ‘that stuff’ out there and here comes this near-perfect little Volkswagen beetle. This car is just humming along, then all of a sudden it pulls over and this old guy asks where he can get some old-fashioned film developed. “Is there any place that still does that?” It took me a second (I’ve been shooting digital since the mid-90s) then I said “Walgreens” and that was kind of an ‘Aha’ moment.

So we start talking and I find out this guy was an engineer on the aqueduct and he would survey elevations along the channel because the ground moves nearly continually out there in the far western part of the Mojave. It doesn’t move much but if the water in the aqueduct breaches the side it could get nasty and catastrophic and such. This was so engineers could regulate the flow and all that.

We talk more. After a bit longer I find out this guy is Hugh Hefner’s first cousin. I think that is so cool and I mention the Baseball Hall of Famer Bob “Rapid Robert” Feller is my grandfather’s first cousin. That’s the best I got. He said he does not own a television. I ask if he reads a lot, is a writer or artist or how he stays occupied? He answered me with, “my equations.” How cool is that? So what he likes to do to relax is to try to work out cold fusion. I told him I like to take pictures and tell stupid jokes. And that is the day I met Hugh Hefner’s Cousin

Carol Highsmith’s Barstow

Highsmith, a distinguished and richly published American photographer, has donated her work to the Library of Congress since 1992. Starting in 2002, Highsmith provided scans or photographs she shot digitally with new donations to allow rapid online access throughout the world. Her generosity in dedicating the rights to the American people for copyright-free access also make this Archive a very special visual resource.

Here is her photographer’s eye on Barstow, Ca. — 2012

Barstow, California

Every Woodland

Slip quietly through every woodland.

There is the wind which may swirl through saplings and their parents
and the tall grasses and dried flowers.

Bird wings flutter, mostly away.
Scratchings and rustling beneath the lowest branches and in the thick brier.
Delicate colors as in a painter’s palette, aside, muted and subdued in a landscape held back.

The memory flutters.
The words choke well before reaching the tongue.
So say nothing.

~ Walter