Saving America

I’ve followed the work of photographer Carol Highsmith ever since I saw her featured on a special segment of CBS’s Sunday Morning back in 2013. Carol is on a mission to save America for posterity.  For more than 37 years, she has photographed America’s architecture, landscapes, and rural and urban places and people. She donates her images to the Carol M. Highsmith Archive at the Library of Congress, the country’s national library in Washington, DC. Anyone can download them from the library website, free of charge and without copyright. So far, Carol has donated about 42,000 photographs to the Library of Congress. She aims to donate 100,000 images by the time she's done.

At age 71, Carol shows no signs of slowing down. She and writer Ted Landphair, her husband of 29 years, average about 40,000 miles on the road every year. Ted drives while Carol edits images in the back seat.

I know I would like Carol because she says things like this –

“There’s a lot of America out there. Why would I want to fly over it, unless I’m doing aerials?”

and this -

"What's important to me is to record America during my lifetime so that many, many years from now, we can see what we looked like, so we have a sense of who we are."

and this –

“It’s my legacy . . . but it’s our legacy.”

I feel just the same, Carol. You inspire me. I like to imagine that I am your sidekick, and in my own way, I’m doing the same work as you – taking those photographs of quintessential America in my own little corner of the country.

Today's photographs are from a road trip to Virginia's Northern Neck. In the heart of the Northern Neck, small towns like Kinsale, Callao, and Heathsville are nestled among long stretches of farmland and small peninsula's that jut out into the rivers that empty into the Chesapeake Bay.