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Old Farm Photography
As I walked around this old farm a few days ago, my mind couldn't help but go into one of those melancholic retreats to yesteryear when I was a child growing up on a dairy farm in Indiana. Our farm didn't look like this one. Well, first, let me tell you what I know about this farm before I tell you about the one I was raised on.
This farm is about five miles from my house. The owner recently passed away and left it to his son. The man who passed on was 101 years old. His son is in his eighties. There is a randomly stored collection of very interesting junk on the farm. It has been accumulating here and there for over a hundred years, so that here and there have become the same thing, the same place.
I've gotten to know Bill, that's the new, younger owner, for a couple of years. Actually, sometimes he remembers me and sometimes he doesn't. I was over taking these photos the other day when Bill drove by. He called to me, so we stood along the side of the road and talked. He was actually in a hurry because some of his cows had gotten out. I offered to help get the cows back in the appropriate field and he accepted. He wanted to know if I knew anything about cows. I said yes, I spent my whole childhood chasing cows.
I drove down the road to where the action was. It was warm out for mid November, so I took off my black North Face jacket. I walked over to where a very rough looking older woman was wrestling with a fallen gate. I picked it up and wired it back to the post. She just stared at me. I explained that I had told Bill I could help get the cows back. She just shook her had and said, "That red shirt ain't gonna help none." Well, we got the cows back. I drove back to the farm where I had been taking photos. On the way, I found three more cows that had just slipped through some sagging barbed wire. I gently encouraged them back through the way they had come out and went on my way.
That's the kind of farm this is. It is sad. Bill has spent a lot of time in court facing animal abuse charges. He keeps cows and horses. I have never seen any sign of that and I have talked to a couple of neighbors who don't believe it. I don't know. It could be I suppose. Either that or some ignorant person saw a thin horse standing in the snow and thought it was being neglected. Horses seem to like standing in the snow. And some of Bill's horses are old. I don't know. He told me that he is back in court now. I don't know what it is about this time though. I didn't ask.
As I wander around the farm, I sometimes wonder how much money is laying around here in the form of scrap metal? Then there are the cars. The old cars and old trucks in this collection are only the beginning. I have another article with more photos. It is called "Old Cars and Trucks in an Open Air Museum." Hows that for a title? The metal on most of the cars is phenomenally well preserved even though the cars have been here for forty and fifty years.
One time a friend and I crawled around in most of the cars I had photographed and got the make, model and year information. What we couldn't find on the cars, we found online by comparing my photos to the photos online which had the information. My favorite was a big Dodge Truck called a Job Rated Truck. It had a job rating of T. Each job rating had a description of what the truck was built to do. This way, purchasers would know which trucks to look at. That particular model was powered by the first hemi engine.
The truck you are looking at now is one I relate to. It is a loner. I felt like a loner as I stood looking at it. The first time I came to this farm was with a dear friend. This time I was alone and it felt somehow not quite right. This old truck must have broken down out in that pasture. It never got brought in closer to the rest of the junk and the farm buildings. It just sits out there, winter after winter, summer after summer. I finally walked out to it the other day. It is an interesting truck. The doors are gone. The flatbed has moss and lichen growing on it. The color of the paint is a bit odd to. I couldn't find any indication of the make, model or year. Do you know by chance? Please let me know if you do.
Silos. When I was growing up on the farm, we had three silos. There were occasions when I had to climb them and I didn't like it at all. They were sixty feet tall. That is how I developed a fear of heights. I could definitely jump from an airplane to parachute, but I have a terrible time being up high on a structure that is hooked to the ground. Is that a phobia? I actually introduced a forum topic a couple of days ago about my plans to go parachuting and skydiving. It is an odd fear that I have.
Look at the inside of the silo. Isn't that awesome? If you don't know exactly what a silo is for or how it works, I'll offer a brief explanation. There is a pipe, about ten inches in diameter, that runs up the outside of the silo. Farmers go out into cornfields with a corn picker and harvest the whole plant. It gets chopped up into little pieces. It is then fed into a big blower which actually blows the silage (that's the name now that it's going up into the silo) up through the pipe and into the silo. When it is full, there is a large piece of equipment that is lowered onto the surface of the silage. That equipment gathers and throws the silage through one of a long series of doors that runs down the side of the silo. You can see the unloader suspended in the top of the silo in the photo.
Well, I will let you browse through the rest of the photos without me going on and on. I will catch you at the end of the article.
I enjoy photographing old things. I don't know if it's the history, the rugged appearance or the sheer stubbornness of these things to not give up and dissolve into the earth, that attracts me. Maybe all of the above. I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.