Growing up in West Texas, as I did, I acquired the habit of looking down over the railings every time I drove over a bridge. The reason why, of course, was to see if there was any water in the arroyo or canyon or streambed or riverbed below—because more often than not, there wasn’t. If you did see some water, it was like a pleasant little surprise, something always to be remarked upon as you drove past. In Ohio, of course, there’s always water under the bridge, but it took me many years for my subconscious to pick up on that, because I was always looking.
We pick up the narrative again in relating a frigid February 2015 expedition into the snow-covered hills of northeastern Ohio Appalachia. As I write, a year later, the weather outside my window is not so different from what we see here, so I am channeling my inner Yeti. I’ve been finding taking photographs in snowy conditions is rather interesting; snow can really change the character of a photograph, whether landscape or otherwise. It has both a visual effect—the addition of so much white into a photo frame—and a psychological effect, creating distance, loneliness, sometimes purity.
In which our intrepid hero embarks upon a journey to the mythical land of Troy…
Everybody who has ever seen the movie Star Wars knows the city of Mos Eisley, even if the name is not familiar. That’s the city on Tattooine that Luke and Ben and the droids go to that has the funky bar with all the aliens. It’s where they meet Han and Chewie and from whence they lit out on the Millennium Falcon. But you know what? It’s not the only place on Tattooine. Brief references in the movie tell the viewer about another place, a much less exotic place, called Anchorhead. It’s the place where all the moisture farmers go to buy a new clutch. It’s a farm town. Nothing happens there; it is only a place from which people depart. “I can take you as far as Anchorhead,” Luke tells Obi-Wan. “You can get a transport there to Mos Eisley or wherever you’re going.” It’s a Greyhound Bus stop. Well, Ohio has its Anchorheads, too.