Sunday, March 13, 2005

On Assignment: New Philadelphia, Ohio-Day One

"The Immortal Soldier" by Wes Aldridge

Today turned out to be much better than I had expected. The 45-minute flight from Nashville to Columbus, Ohio, looked pretty bleak when we started to break through the clouds approaching the runway for touchdown. The sky was matted with a thick cumulus cover, and sunshine was not washing across Columbus right now.

Lucky for me, New Philly was about two hours away and thank my sweet tail the sunshine came out during that drive. I thought, what the heck, lets go to the center of town and see what we find. Cool stuff galore. A beautiful old rotunda courthouse. Local shops with perky flair. And a war statue memorial. It was beautiful. Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, all of the largest conflicts associated with American history were represented there. Wonderful sculptures and memorial walls. I think my favorite shot from there was this WWI statue with grenade ready to throw and his rifle in tow. And besides, I think it looks a little too graphic to make it into the IMAGES of Tuscarawas County, Ohio community magazine. I guess you could argue nothing really says, "move to our city" like the sculpture of a man in savage battle.

Anyway. The shot is straightforward. Meter and shoot. Just pretty light from the late evening sunshine.

Right now, as I sit and watch some late night, cheap suit-wearing jackass try to sell elderly people the "Rock Bottom Slots" slot machine (with 200 free tokens if they call right away) info-mercials in my hotel room at the Schoenbrunn Inn, I feel confused. I really can't put my finger on it. I'm not worried about all the appointment calls for this shoot that haven't gotten back to me to schedule a time to shoot. I'm not fretting over the company awards program that I am flying back for on Thursday and flying back up here the following day to shoot two more magazines for about another week. I'm not distressed that I think the apocalypse is upon us and the world is going to explode like a kernel of heated popcorn. I'm not bothered that I am a little on the pudgy side or my hair is too long or the idiot girl that put a cheese Coney dog in my bag at the A&W eatery today instead of my grilled chicken sandwich... bitch.

Its just one of those momentary slices of chaotic and erratic life in the times of a young man with a big heart, a little brain and a camera in his hand. This is the mind of the photographer, and sometimes even I don't understand it.