I found the above black and white photo on cardboard many years ago in the state of my birth -- Michigan. Printed on the photo were the words Harrison, Michigan but did not identify the family. Although taken many years before I was born it still resonates with me. I like that it speaks to me of my interests -- vernacular homes, history, Michigan, early photography, family/folks, landscapes and more.
It was common, when this photo was taken, to have itinerant traveling photographers knock on your door asking if you would like a photo taken. If you agreed, he (not known if women took to this trade), dragged out his big tripod and huge glass plate camera and the household gathered before their home and soon they were frozen in time via a photograph.
Today, a photo is taken in an instance with film or as digital. The way of life for those many glass plate itinerant photographers disappeared with these advances.
I have moved recently to Portland Oregon. Can't say how many times I have moved around the country since I was young except to say MANY times.
Now I am my own itinerant photographer taking my own photos with my own digital camera as I move about. Below are a few shots of my current "new to me" home.
Mount Hood taken from computer work space window
Apartment complex was built in 1941 by a German immigrant architect -- it still feels like it probably did when it was first built. Not a large complex -- it is surrounded by mature trees and prolific gardens. Several windows look out toward Mt Hood.
Apartment's wood floors
Would love to find some old photos of this place. Will be doing some snooping around the area to see if there are any to be found. Maybe the Oregon Historical Society might have some?
Next stop in my wandering life -- Portland, Oregon. Excited about the move to a historic art deco apartment even though its in a large city. But tis a city that is vibrant, active, creative, artsy and above all a well planned large city. Yes, country mouse goes to the city. Lots to see and do with my first and foremost artificial friend -- who goes by the name of "Rebel."
Will be off for a couple weeks getting moved and settled. Til than.
This group of Saudi students embraced me in their lively talk and manners as I took their photos. They are friends -- enrolled at Portland State University -- most are freshmen at the school. A wonderful bunch of young men -- conversation was easy and fun.
About a month ago I visited Pioneer Park, a large community place, located in the center of Portland, Oregon. I took lots of photographs in the park that day. Today's photos are part of that collection. These two gentlemen graciously allowed me to to take their photos as they were sitting and chatting with each other -- enjoying the day.
They told me they were originally from different states-- Arkansas and Florida. Now both are residents of Portland. They both seemed to agree that it was a very friendly and convenient place to live even though Portland is major large city. I agreed with them -- myself finding it a very lively and friendly city.
Once upon a time this was a busy porch where folks stepped up through the double doors into this general store. Still standing today, yet vacant of goods -- its vintage facade reminds the town's old-timers of its former activity. Their memories light up. And then there are those that think it is an eyesore. What do you think?
Front facade of Denise's home with her climbing roses flowing over her natural picket fence.
Small towns offer so much texture to our regional landscapes. Textures in the form of flowers, trees, architecture, personal landscape touches, fencing, small home veggie gardens plus other unique configurations. All containing the personal touches of the town folk. Yesterday, I was out and about with my son -- visiting a small town that had a nice little bike shop. My son is a biker and needed some special repairs to his bike. He gets great exercise riding his bike to work in Portland every day -- twenty miles there and back. But getting back to the small town. I, personally, was looking at the houses of the town -- the unique representations of its housing stock. Down a small residential street I found one that I was smitten with. I call the home -- Denise's place.
Denise's raised garden beds with her garage in the background.
Denise was out front in her yard when I happened upon this cozy wood framed house. I didn't see her at first but as I stepped out of my car she waved me over to her yard. It was a friendly meeting of two senior ladies -- her and I -- and I felt her warmth from the start. She talked about her house with affection explaining she moved there ten years ago. She also explained that the house had only 600 plus square feet inside. I thought to myself how wonderful. Less to take care of when one is retired. She also explained that her house is over hundred years old. Wonderful, built when houses were built with solid materials -- not thin plywood like some today that suffer damage in strong winds.
All the time we talked Denise's large beautiful calico cat sat on the railing listening and watching us. I just had to a photograph Ms Calico as she seemed so regal on the porch railing.
Denise has added many small touches that make a home personal. Like the old wagon and trike that sit with flowers under a small tree near her front roadway. Also she has a clump of four very large conifers sitting on the corner of her property that are notations of the its natural history.
Found this sweetheart of a cottage on one of the main roads through Aurora, Oregon. It's just the right size for one person to live in or perhaps could be used as a studio/workshop for some talented artist. I called this place a cottage in the post's title because that is how I saw it. Whatever its use it added to the historic ambiance of the road on which it was located.
Noticed this historic house that was scraped of most of its paint in Aurora, Oregon. There was just enough paint left on the house to give it an earthy aged look. Do not know if this was a deliberate look or not. A hanging basket of colorful flowers gave the porch a little bit of a "pop" against the scraped wood. I liked this look.
Old early cemeteries such as this one in Northern Kentucky always intrigue me. The arrangement of the gravestones on the land, the shapes of the gravestones themselves, and the care being given to the cemetery as a whole. This one in Mason County was beautifully maintained and full of information about the area. By full of information I mean by reading the stones one can get a feeling for those that lived there long ago. They reveal the wars that some fought, their occupations through the symbols carved on the gravestones, their economic/social status by the gravestone placed on their grave, and the ages of the persons when they died. Some living long lives -- some short. Walk around long enough in an old cemetery and you can begin to put together a bit of history about the folks that lived in the area.