Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Close Calls Come A Dime A Dozen

"Explanation of the Situation" by Wes Aldridge

So, two things to talk about here, although, it could be a thousand. And so the story continues...

I am driving to my North Carolina assignment, almost six hours away, and I find myself on a winding mountain road. The day was miserable with terrential down-pours, long drive, a huge fog bank with the changing elevation. At this moment, can I just send a thank you out to the total stupid asshole that slams on his brakes, without turn signal, in the center of a snaky mountain road in the middle of an awful storm? Well, here's to you "Mr.-I-Should-Have-My-License-Revoked-And-My-Head-Kicked-Down-My-Neck-Out-My-Ass-Guy." Thanks for nearly signing my death certificate.

Yeah, this old geezer decides he wants to turn into a scenic overlook (that he has pretty much passed-by) on the mountainside in these inclement weather conditions. At this point there is no stopping, only a decision to make: Do I plow into the truck or the guard rail. I figure less people would be hurt if I chose the latter, so I ate the guard rail in a head-on, fish-tailing, front-to-back smacking kind of "incident." At least the dumb bastard in his Tacoma truck didn't get hurt. Then it hit me... I trusted a two-foot tall, two-inch thick piece of metal to keep me from plummeting into a mountainous gorge. So, who is the idiot here? That is a wonderful question. Honestly, I thought I was going to fucking die. What's more, I was watching it all happen in slow-motion as I slid and cut the wheels and slide through the grass and watch sparks fly as I rubbed the wall. Oh, did I mention, the gentleman in the afore mentioned Tacoma (gray) went on his merry way? Yeah, sure as hell did.

So, the rental car looks a little, how you say, "worn" in a few places, but she still runs like a virgin on prom night. May I say, trust the guard rails and always opt for the Pontiac Gran Am, regardless of the price of the upgrade. These things are more than likely why the Mind of the Photographer is continuing at this point. Cause if I would have went off into the damn high ravine, well, the rental company could fish the car out their own damn self.

And now on to the photo for the day. Franklin, North Carolina... I love it. This is one of the first really good mags that I shot last year. So, I kind of knew what to expect on this assignment... other than auto-incidentals, of course.

We all know that after a fiasco like I just endured, then any reasonable man would require a cocktail. Here's the kicker... Macon County, NC is a "dry" county. When I found this out, I was down-hearted. Then, I went into a convenience store and I became a little confused. There was an endless walk in cooler of any "red-style" beer you could think of, and wine too. Something tells me that it isn't exactly dry here. I ask someone about it and the person told me, there are no bars, but select restaurants can serve wine, I think I understood. Amazing. I love the fact that this city didn't follow its own rules and I headed to the only ABC (yes package) store. Anyway you slice it, the photo above shows all these things and ties them together with the religious aspect. This place may not have a store that carries a charger for my Palm Pilot cell phone, but it sure as hell has a lot of churches per capita.

In the historic downtown area hang these banners from street lamps. I lined this shot up with that banner with a church steeple in the background and a "No Parking After 5pm Saturday" sign to boot. You know why the parking restriction sign was there... they didn't want any drunk hooligan to leave his vehicle stranded at this particular point of town on a Saturday night after he was snookered and take away any parking spots from all the good church going folk on Sunday morning. Its funny, I laughed and I took the shots. Make the connections, I did. If you can't, take more ginseng and read more HST to get your mind to that strange point mine has grown to love and understand.