It was years of back road adventuring, of jumping the fences, often chased off by angry landowners, before I came to understand what is was I saw, what I felt seeing the noble beauties.
I would lie nose to nose to nose with these ladies. The intimate perspective. All weather, every light condition. I was awed by their stature, the architecture and graceful lines. The rust felt like memories to me, and I began to understand why they sat in the places of honor rather than be sold for scrap. It took an incident where my life was threatened to stop stealing the pictures and knock on the door to ask permission. The doors opened, the stories began.
This is disappearing America. The lunch bucket values, the blue collared sacrifice of families that were willing to save, to work each day with an unshakable pride in what was accomplished. A faith of better times to come. Things had value, they were earned. Not entitled. The family truck went to town for commerce and Sunday mornings to church, was borrowed to court your sweetheart. It was picnics, and trips down dirt roads helping a neighbor. Always at the ready. Trusted. The good and reliable steed.
And when she finally gave all she had, it was her turn to rest in a place of honor. The drive in view of the sunset meant to be her reward for the years of service. I now almost understood.
So I took my work on the road to America, and found myself accepted in some of the most prestigious juried art shows in the country from Main Street Ft. Worth, to St. James Court in Lexington. I was public, and it was here the final pieces began to fall in place. I came face to face with people that also got it. They would stand, stare at my work as if lost, and more than a few times there was a hint of a tear. Their age didn’t matter. Had the old farts nodding in appreciation, the young kids somehow realizing there was something represented here they had missed out on.