“Where There Is Light”
From the Album: Abandoned
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, USA
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

iPhone 4 & Hipstamatic App

Lens: John S
Film: Kodot XGrizzled
Flash: Off

Growing up in the farmland nestled just out of reach of Pennsylvania’s capitol city in the 60s, my sisters, neighborhood friends and I were always on the look-out for the infamous Smith Brothers. Every once in-a-while, they would wonder from their secluded farmhouse, jutting up at the end of a long, straight lane, shirtless in the summer heat, waving sticks and casting thuggish catcalls, to confront anyone who would stand against their threats. As a family of eight brothers, they always outnumbered the rest of us. And having the sad reputation of being born from a mother and father who were mentally-challenged cousins, all of the boys suffered from mental-handicaps. Which made their antics and presence even more daunting and mythic.

Today’s album and Photo Pick Of The Day is an homage to my memory of this family. Their home, long since abandoned to a neighboring farmer, then to a Christmas Tree farm, and now back to farming, has been left to disintegrate into rumble, pulled downward by the weight of the poison ivy vines that have strangled the life out of this house.

I never felt a sense of happiness ever coming from this distant fortress. And now, more than ever, it represents a haunting memory of sadness, abuse and lives lived in seclusion and fear. I know so little of this family, but I can’t help but wonder if the current state of this house is a symbol of an unfortunate family who felt alone, abandoned and ostracized by their neighbors.