Friday, June 17, 2005

just plain gone

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The last entry was entitled, "Gone Fishing". This one - "Just Plain Gone". It's been a hard week for photographers and barns in central Kane County.

My computer crashed and the hard drive burned in a blaze of glory, taking with it a large number of photographs I hadn't yet backed up. On this score I'm fine, knowing that there are many, many other pictures out there waiting to be discovered, and in every little disaster there's a lesson to be learned.

Many times part of the process of handling disappoint involves a quiet early monring drive down one of my favorite country roads. For me it serves as a form of meditation. As you drive past all the familiar landmarks your mind becomes more peaceful and the chaos of loss is quieted. The peaceful, familiary scenes are food to the creative side.

Head north on Corron Road, past the Lenkaitis farm where dairy cows graze in the south pasture, which a noisy goose chases after the sheep in the north pasture. Further along the Corron fields stand fallow, unplanted after the township purchased them in an effort to preserve some open space in the face of development, which is tearing through the county like a runaway wildfire. The beautiful horse farm is next, on the left hand side of the road. The road turns sharply down and to the right passing the old barn at the top of the rise. I've photographed this barn many times, but my favorite time to visit is in the winter when everything is blanketed with snow. The sounds are muffled and the light is tinged with blue and pink, that special winter light that softens even the harshest edge.

I often reminise about when the baskeball hoop was used last. How many years have passed since a teenager and his farmer dad shot hoops in the barnyard?

Jim the computer guy informed me that my old hard drive was a thing of the past. I got in the car early one morning and headed out along Corron Road, past all the familiar and comforting landmarks. Down the hill and up the other side, turning right. The old barn is gone. Dismantled within the day or so that I last traveled the road. Thousands of board feet of old barnwood, gone. Huge beams, 12 inches square, carved from a single tree, gone. The mysterious basketball hoop, gone. In it's place a sign. Coming soon......a gated community for the over 55 crowd.

Coming soon? Gone.


srp said...

Glad you're back, everyone missed your posts.

Your story reminds me that I should really back up more often.

KatKit13 said...

how sad. I totally understand the vanishing barns and history. We have a lot down here in Will County too.

I've been watching the dismantling of a barn just down the road. Just so sad. And another just disappeared overnight it seems.

All in the name of "progress". Sigh

Welcome back

Becca said...

so glad to see you're back ... what a haunting post ... to think the barn was gone ... in minutes ... for a gated community, a commentary on our times ... not good or bad ... just true and makes your heart ache a bit.

Zanne said...

Actually it was worse because two barns came down in one week. I haven't been able to locate a photo of the second barn (in this stack of CDs still to download back into the computer). Like you said Becca, not really good or bad. The barns have had a long and productive working life, and some haven't been used in many years, as land was purchased by developers, and the farmers moved on.

It bothers me that they are unceremoniously dispatched. The barn less than a mile from house will so go the way of the others. But since I have such a close tie to the barn, I plan to be there the day she is brought down.
- Suzanne