August 18th, 2018
The actual journey of the "MI Eye on the Thumb" series started a little over two years ago when I became an insurance inspector in the thumb area of Michigan. Throughout my travels I would encounter the vivid history of this area on a daily basis. I made the decision to take advantage of this rare opportunity. Already having a camera in hand for my work, I decided to record these beautiful sites and capture a moment in time throughout each day of my journey in this area.
I began photographing barns, not really sure of my what my purpose with the whole idea was. In the early spring of 2016 I took a picture of an area barn that I had passed hundreds of times over the past thirty years of my life. She was definitely worse for the wear, but she still stood straight; her long life evident through the light that filtered through the gaps in the aged barn wood. In my eyes, she was a beauty.
The following spring, I drove by and found her on the ground. I was instantly grateful that I had taken that final picture of her and deeply saddened to see her collapsed in a heap on the ground. Her partner through life, the old grain silo standing in solitary grace as if watching over her while she sleeps. The sheep in the neighboring coral still grazed next to her; life was going on.
In twenty years many will not remember her like I, and the countless others that have seen her a thousand times in their lives. I feel as if that photo preserved her soul; that her history would not be forgotten, because there is evidence that she existed.
On that day, my inspiration was born. I was going to create a collection of this areas barns; be they young, old or lying on the ground, I will preserve their history. History is important and although there are those in this world that would like to change history; history is to be cherished and remembered. This area is a history lesson and her visual aids are magnificent.