*16 photos below for The American in Me
Andrew Wyeth said, “Sometimes I think I’m not very artistic because people will say, ‘Did you notice the amazing sulfur yellow in the sky…’ That stuff never strikes me to paint. It’s got to click with something I’m already thinking about. Then my hair raises on the back of my neck.”
Rob, David and Emily took me to their family’s land in Kentucky. We explored abandoned wood clapboard houses, hiked through ridge-top woodlands at dusk, and visited a collapsed 100-year-old cabin. We met Glen and his dogs and pondered the oddity of a tree growing through the fender of Glen’s long abandoned John Deer. We wandered for a moment in the ruins of old Kentucky where the American pioneers settled to become the engine of a new country.
How is it a country so young as America can seem now so old? Like the rotting wood houses are too many lines on the head of a man too young for such a face. It is not the right question. I turn from the rotting houses and look instead at the people and what I see is something much different than decay. These people outlive the crumbling things. They are the country, not the stuff and the buildings. I turn my camera to them. Not just to capture their image. In them I am going in search of the American in me.