Thursday, January 23, 2014

Going, going, gone!

Photographer Walker Evans seemed to have a knack for knowing what mundane, everyday scenes would be interesting to viewers 50-75 years in the future. I can imagine that his photos of depression-era America might have seemed ho-hum at the time, but they are so fascinating to look at now because they show us a world that no longer exists. 

I have sometimes tried to take the same approach, photographing what may soon be only a memory from my times. It's not easy. What's common now, but will soon disappear? Video stores come to mind, and so many are already gone as we now live in a downloadable world. Sometimes things disappear before I realize they are on the way out.

Riverside Barber Shop, Bryson City, NC  -  2008
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Those who know me might find it hard to believe that at one time I actually had regular need for a barber shop, but I did. And the old style barber shop was the kind I preferred. Wack Brothers in Metairie, LA, and Thompson's in Ruston, LA are two I remember with particular fondness. They were so different in atmosphere from the "Style Salons" and chain haircutters that seem to be prevalent today. One chain, Sport Clips, has tried to recapture the feel of a real men's barber shop with its sports centered theme, but it's just not the same. I'm afraid the independently owned, 1-3 chair barber shop is going the way of the video store, so I better get moving on capturing images of these places before they are all gone.

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