(First two pics. snapped on 10/22/12)
I know that I let my ever compounding cynicism determine the tone of my posts on here, sometimes (possibly even too often, these days) - but the events surrounding the shoots during which these pictures were made - have me believing (if only momentarily) that there is still "good" in the world, and have also helped to restore my flagging faith in mankind...
I received an email, a couple of weeks ago - from a guy whose neighbor had recently told him about me and my selfpics (click here
to read the Little Pretties entry in which I explain how the neighbor found his
way to The Big Ugly). In his note to me, the nice man (let's call him "YNF") extended an open invitation for me to come to his place and take pictures of
his 1954 Chevy Belair, as well as anything else that I should find there, that might tickle my photographic fancy.
The very next week, I took YNF up on his incredibly generous offer - and despite the reservations that my best friend Curleymoe had about me going alone to the home of some stranger who I literally knew nothing about - I packed up my cameras and a bunch of different costumes, and drove to the remote piece of property where YNF lives.
Curleymoe is probably right about me being too willing to put myself in potentially dangerous situations, for the sake of chasing down a new lead...and I will admit that I did become more and more anxious, the further away from civilization that I got, and the deeper I drove into YNF's property - however - I knew as soon as we introduced ourselves, that in YNF's case at least - I didn't havta worry about any threat of peril...he simply could not have been an nicer.
After showing me around, YNF went to work in his shop, and left me to do my thing unhindered. I spent the first two hours snappin' pics. with my film cameras and phone - of the old cars (there were several others besides just the '54 Chevy), a fantastic, old bank barn, and an abandoned house standing solitary in the middle of a corn field. I wasn't in any particular hurry to wrap things up and leave, because it was my ex-husband's day to have the kids - and since YNF had never indicated that there was any special time that I should be done and gone - I changed into one of the costumes that I'd brought, and initiated the self-portrait portion of the day's events...
...and after firing off only maybe 20 frames or so - YNF dropped a bit of a bomb on me, completely out of the blue...he said, "I have to go and run an errand real quick, my wife may get home before I return...I haven't yet told her that you're here."...Ohhhhhh...whooops...
He said that she'd be home in about 30 minutes, so I kept shooting while also trying to keep track of the time in my head, thinking it might be best for me to scram before she arrived...but somehow I goofed, because she arrived before I'd managed to scram...
I nervously walked over to her as she got out of her car, told her who I was and explained why I was there - and although she was surprised (and rightfully so), she was far more pleasant than I would've ever expected, and even allowed me to resume staging my pics..
I didn't stay for long though, it just felt like I was intruding at that point...
(Snapped on 10/22/12 - using an iPhone and Instagram filters)
When I checked in with YNF to see if I'd gotten him into trouble with his wife, he said that everything was fine, and then he told me that I was welcome anytime, to come back to take more pics....I was seriously blown away by his limitless generosity. I was also eager to return so that I could stage some selfpics at that farmhouse that I'd seen in the corn field, and in order to do so - I would have to park at YNF's place, and walk to the old house from there. When I asked for his permission, he said, "No problem"...such
a cool guy...
Now the farmhouse is on someone else's property, but I never worried about getting caught trespassing there, because it's so
swallowed up by the vast sea of corn stalks that surround it - how on earth would any
er know that I was there...
(Last five pics. snapped on 10/25/12)
Seriously, out of all the abandoned houses that I've been in by now - this one gave me no reason to fret over whether I might get busted or not. Which was quite honestly, a welcome relief.
I began by shooting the pictures in the broken window (seen above) and after snapping the 14th one, I hopped down from my perch, went over to my camera to review the last frame, set the camera back to capture mode, looked at the screen before setting the timer, and screamed, "Oh my GOD!!!" There was a man looking straight at me through the far window! I was horror stricken! I quickly ducked down, frantically pulled on my jeans, and threw on a shirt - hoping to be clothed before the man came around to the rear of the house where I was.
I don't remember ever shaking so much from being scared before...my hands trembled uncontrollably as I approached the man (plus two others that he'd brought along with him!) and prepared myself for whatever might ensue. It was just the most awkward and uncomfortable thing ever. What if he was angry...so angry in fact, that he felt that he should call the cops on me? Out of the two possible outcomes that ran through my head though - the cops coming was by far the better alternative. Let's face it, there were three of them, and only one of me (and they'd seen me naked!) - and if they'd wanted to - they could easily have had their way with me...not a soul on the planet would've known...
It went nothing like that though, because as it turned out - the man was unbelievably mellow about the whole thing. Confused? Absolutely. Amused? Yes indeedy. But totally sweet, and understanding, all the same...matter of fact, he even let me stay to finish my shoot - all by myself...I was shocked.
So see? There really IS still a smidgeon of good left in the world (in my world, at least) and I want YNF, his wife, the farmer, and his two friends to know that their kindness and generosity is sincerely and deeply appreciated by this weird, naked, self-portrait artist - Thank You ALL!!!