the great rain storms of summer solstice

Our son, Jacob, was traveling along Route 64 from Richmond to Charlottesville to visit a friend when the dry asphalt road was suddenly made shiny and slick by a sudden downpour. He lost control as the car hydroplaned and ended up in a heavily forested median, sideswiping trees along the way. The airbags deployed, the windshield cracked, the front passenger side crumbled and the tire was set loose from the rim.

Somehow he walked away with only a few scratches and bruises.

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The memory of the state of the car and the miracle of my son surviving the accident will stay with me forever. And I will forever be grateful.

We’ve picked up the pieces. The totaled car is now in the junkyard. We’ve set about the process of buying a new used car for Jacob – needed for job interviews and work just ahead.

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I’ve cried and prayed. And I’ve watched the rain pour almost every day since his accident.

Between showers of rain, I did the only thing that soothes my soul.

I made pictures.

Familiar places in new ways.

Changing my perspective.

Keeping images natural and subtle with stories both simple and ambiguous.

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The rain washes over us and we are refreshed. Ready to begin again. Renewed this summer.

the reason you were sent to Earth

The State Of The Artist

You, as an artist, have the greatest responsibility of all.
You are charged with trying to make people feel, in a world that tells them not to.
You are tasked with speaking soft words, painting, playing, filming, writing moments of such magnitude and beauty that people rediscover their hearts one more (last) time.
You are here to give meaning to the few decades we spend here.
That is the reason you were sent to Earth.
—Iain S. Thomas, I Wrote This For You

Elkton, Virginia

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Traveling rural roads with no particular destination in mind, we ventured to the small town of Elkton, Virginia.

Having grown up in a similar small town, we felt immediately at home.

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We stopped in the Visitor Center where a kind woman by the name of Margaretta filled us in on the town history. As she told us of the town’s great pride having once been home to the famous Patsy Cline, I studied the rows of photographs neatly lining the paneled walls. Margaretta pointed out her favorites, when Patsy Cline returned to town as the Grand Marshal for the Elkton Field Day Parade and when years later Patsy’s daughter did the same.

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Like many Southern towns, Elkton’s history includes the imprint of the Civil War. An important building in the town’s history is the Jennings House which was transformed into a hospital during the Civil War. Located on Rockingham Street, the Miller-Kite House was the headquarters of General Stonewall Jackson at the start of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign during the Civil War. Now the house is a town landmark and museum, housing many items from the war and some of Jackson's personal belongings.

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We walked in the few open shops, stopping to talk to local folks along the way. Even though the people were friendly, there was no mistaking the sadness of loss. With its empty storefronts, nearly deserted streets, and quiet air of desperation, Elkton joins the tide of small towns that still value the things they’ve lost most. Their memories grow rosier and brighter, day by day, even as they live with the reality of things that will never be again.