There’s a beautiful old building in downtown Taylor that I’ve admired since we moved here in 2009. Born in 1883, it rests at the intersection of 2nd and Main Streets. A friend who knows about historic structures mentioned it needs much work, but its bones are strong. Recently, I couldn’t help but notice two very large political candidate signs affixed on two of its facades. My first impression: it was tacky. A Taylor Facebook page group apparently agreed. These photos were made this evening, the signs now removed. While I have no issue with political campaign signs, placing them on historic buildings is inappropriate. While the owner of the building has every right to do what they like, it doesn’t mean it’s right. I’m glad common sense ruled the day here. And I wish this building could be returned to its former glory.
There’s no real theme with this post, just photos taken last evening, then first thing this morning. While wandering along the prairie last evening, I noted the lighted windows at Waterloo Gin. As far as I know, they’re way beyond cotton harvest season, but it looked interesting. And this morning I cut my reading time short to take a peek at a layer of fog descending over Taylor’s Murphy Park. This and that, friends.
On January 23, 2017, 19-year-old Tommy Ketterhagen, an experienced cyclist in Georgetown, was struck and killed by a motorist. Tommy was a graduate of East View High School, where he was a star athlete in both soccer and cross country. Since his death, his family and his cycling team, Austin’s 787 Racing, have kept his memory alive. A Ghost Bike remains at the site of the crash, about a mile from East View High. This morning I photographed the annual Tommy Ketterhagen Memorial Bike Ride that began at East View High. Along the route was the Ghost Bike, where cyclists and family members signed its surface. All photo but one (the lady in the red jersey) include members of the Ketterhagen family. The most poignant images might be of Tommy’s youngest sister, Zelie, now 4. Since Tommy’s death, his family has been actively-involved in efforts to make Georgetown’s streets more bike-friendly. The Ketterhagens are one amazing and resilient family. As a cyclist, I applaud their efforts. Be kind to cyclists, friends.
Bartlett, Texas is a community on the Bell/Williamson County line where I enjoy occasional visits with my camera. These winter months are nice because they allow night photography without having to wait until 9p.m. for results. These were taken Thursday evening. The overall street scenes are my favorites, presented with and without “traffic.” They are, of course, tripod images. Bartlett’s population is about 1600. You won’t see many traffic jams here. I like that.
A photography book by John Langmore, “Fault Lines: Portraits of East Austin,” was recently published. It covers a period from 2006-2011, when the traditionally working-class area east of downtown Austin, Texas has been undergoing a rapid gentrification, young professionals moving into neighborhoods inhabited for many years by African-Americans and Latinos. It prompted me to remember 1973, when I wandered around East Austin while studying photojournalism at UT-Austin. These are four portraits made during time spent there. Seeing the photo of Johnnie, the proprietor at Johnnie’s Antiques, as she sweeps the sidewalk in front of her business prompts a curiosity about what’s at that address now. I may have to find out. Frankly, I spent far more time back then photographing East 6th Street, but we’ll leave that for another post.
Here’s a few photos taken this evening, a cool and misty night here on the Blackland Prairie. I’ll leave the comments at that, friends.
This morning, en route to my bank in Hutto, the clouds were starting to look pretty neat so I pulled over on the shoulder to photograph that pretty sky with the added touch of an old farmhouse and windmill. While looking through the viewfinder, I heard a noise. Low and behold, there came the morning Amtrak train, gliding by. And on schedule, too. That made a pretty scene even nicer. At least to me it was.
The Georgetown (TX) Fellowship of Churches held their annual Unity Celebration this afternoon to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The observance includes a march, followed by a service at Macedonia Baptist Church. The church, appropriately, is on Martin Luther King, Jr. Street. The senior gentleman looking contemplative is Weldon S. Crowley, Ph.D., a Professor of History, Emeritus at Southwestern University. He’s attended every single commemoration since they began in Georgetown. While I do quite a few photos for my friends at the Williamson County Sun, these are some of the faces that made it a memorable day, among them a Purple Heart recipient. That was special.
Since returning to Texas, I’ve been tagging along with Central Texas-area Girl Scouts as they spread the joy of Girl Scout cookies. This year I joined girls in two Georgetown neighborhoods on the first weekend of sales. Note that the girls are always accompanied by a parent or adult when traversing the neighborhoods. These photos were taken on Saturday. As mentioned in the last post, I’m not fond of people looking into the camera, but these kids were so cool and happy, I just went with it. One of my favorite photos this year is actually a posed portrait, four scouts, and a dog named Zach, all looking grand. Girl Scout cookie sales in our area continue through the last weekend in February. You might well see troop members in front of your neighborhood stores. Be nice, even if you don’t buy any. These are great kids.
You may have heard occasional grumbling about photos of people staring into the camera. When speaking of that, I’m referring to what I call iPhone photos, group shots of people grinning like possums. Add to that the tendency for smaller community newspapers to publish an overabundance of the same thing. That won’t sell papers. Sometimes, however, I find faces making eye contact with my camera okay. One such instance was last night at Georgetown Parks & Recreation’s Adults With Disabilities Dance, held at the San Gabriel Park Community Center. The theme was Winter Wonderland. These events are geared toward adults with either physical and/or intellectual disabilities. I applaud Georgetown’s parks department for this effort.