Where there’s smoke…
I’ve been kicking around the idea of launching a blog about my photography – after all, I couldn’t possibly have more time on my hands. Why not support two blogs, a website, plus Facebook and Twitter… oh well, I love social media, don’t I?
And I’m not just working on all of this for my photography – I have a personal FB and blog, plus the ones I created and maintain for non-profits and small businesses – just because I like to and want to help others. Oh, that must be because I have free time all day to pursue this – wrong again! I am blessed to be employed full-time. Not to mention the family and friends that deserve my attention.
The Texas expression about having “a lot of irons in the fire” certainly applies to me. It seems at the root of it all, I just don’t want to turn down any opportunities to pursue my interests. That must mean I have a lot of interests – true. And I am rejecting any notion that one should say “no” to many things so as to not become spread thin. I’m not sure I’m happy if I’m not going a hundred different directions at any time.
For my debut of the photo blog, I am choosing one of my favorite recent new photos. I’ve had a love of Texas and its small town cultures for many years. Mind you, I’m a city girl and plan to stay that way. But I do have an appreciation for the tiny towns that dot Texas – seemingly all born at about the same time, at the turn of the 20th century. Town square with a courthouse at the center, surrounded by local mercantile establishments. The occasional empty building with a date emblazoned at the top, usually in the 1886-1920 range. To read the buildings is to read the history of Texas.
“Where there’s smoke…”
So I choose a photo taken on a beautiful, sunny mid-November 2010 day in Crowell, Texas. As we drove through on our way back to my city domain, we came across an event. How did we know there was an event in town? The town square was packed about 4 deep with giant hand-wrought smokers and almost equally giant pickup trucks. Camera in hand, I beseeched the driver of the car to stop so I could walk amongst the action. The air was absolutely perfumed with the gorgeous fall smell of smoke – the good kind, such as what emanates from a wood-burning fireplace or a smoker charged with the task of slow-cooking some carnivore’s delight. OK, veggies can be grilled… on the standard home version of the grill, bought at a home improvement store. For a serious grill feast, only a custom-built grill the size of a small RV will do. You don’t understand… these folks are SERIOUS grillers! Literally they built them from scratch in many cases – the welding, the cutout metal designs and even logos for their brand. Patriotic flags, family, dogs and good times abound.
Of the photos I took at this smoke-fest, this was my favorite. The way the owner’s face barely appears through the haze of smoke from his grill… behind the handmade metal sign affixed to the top. His son’s face appearing next to his in the haze. The big smile! I promise I didn’t choose this photo because he was so kind as to let us sample some of the meat he was cooking for a regional Wild Pig BBQ contest… it was just all the elements that came together for a great photo. Hopefully it conveys the joy and comraderie that I experienced when I was there.