The Death of a Barn

Rome, Ohio barn

Rome, Ohio barn

Back a few years ago, 2013 to be exact, while barnstorming I came upon this farm in Rome Twp. Ohio which was up for auction and had a beautiful old dairy barn and silo.

In June of this year, I returned to find the barn in a state of demolition.  It looked like perhaps some of the lumber was being recycled as the barn was being somewhat carefully disassembled.

Barn Rome 2016

The barn, largely still standing was now open air with the loft walls having been removed.

Barn Roof 2

The immensity of the barn became evident as I got closer and caught a glimpse inside.

Barn Roof

Then, once inside, the sheer volume and complexity of it’s construction became clear.  It seemed a shame that this barn, still quite sound, was losing it’s life.

Barn Swallows

Yet, in one corner of the barn I found this nest of barn swallows.  There was, at least for some short period of time, some life in this barn after all.

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Back to My Photo Roots

Lately I’ve had to urge to go back to my photo roots of shooting black and white street photography.  Last week I took 2 days, one rainy and one sunny, to roam around in the heart of downtown Cleveland capturing street scenes.  Here are a few that I liked.

Cleve Bike 3Cleve Connected 1Cleve Jack Flaps

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Evidence of an Existence — Time Ran Out

Time Ran Out

Time Ran Out

On a cold Sunday afternoon last weekend, a friend and I went out looking for something to photograph.  As I’ve done many times during the past few years, I guided my car out into rural Geauga and Ashtabula Counties in Ohio.  The recession of a few years ago had a severe impact on parts of these counties.  We came upon a deserted home and barn and stopped to take a look.  As we approached the house, we found that the front door was gone and the house was wide open all around.  Looking inside, the floors appeared to be intact and secure so we ventured inside.  The deteriorating clock was lying on a piece of furniture just inside the door and seemed symbolic to me, time had run out on this residence.

Where did they go?

Where did they go?

As we investigated further we found a home that seemed to have been abandoned but not emptied.  The open dresser was still full of clothes.

A sad reminder of past residents.

A sad reminder of past residents.

A photo album was left to deteriorate on the floor, showing children or grandchildren who perhaps occupied this farm house.

For Better and ......?

For Better and ……?

A Mother’s Day card signifying “better days” and perhaps sadly suggesting worse days to come.

Evidence of a human existence.

Evidence of a human existence.

Did the house go into foreclosure?  Did the family just up and leave?  Did they pass away and other family, if there were any, just abandon the property?  So many questions came to mind as we explored further.

The living room.

The living room.

The kitchen.

The kitchen.

The living room and kitchen, still full of furniture, cookware, dishes and another clock suggesting that at 11:55 something ended.

Time Ran Out 7

What once appeared to be a very large barn, partially collapsed, now served as a canvas for graffiti.

The entire period of time exploring this property become increasingly mysterious and sad, wondering what happened to the occupants of this home and farm.  The possibilities are many and the days since shooting it have been full of wondering, imagining and writing stories in my head.  All sad however.

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Patty’s Farm – A Little Story

Patty's Farm, Medina County OH

Patty’s Farm, Medina County OH

A few months ago, while “barnstorming” with photo friend Debra Rozin, we came upon this farm in Medina County.  Attracted by the beautiful old red barn and the American Flag on the silo, we approached to get some nice shooting angles on the barn.

Staring back

Staring back

As we approached a group of cow’s came to on opening in a building in front of the barn to investigate the 2 photographers coming up the hill.

While photographing these cows a minivan pulled up and a lady by the name of Patty got out.  We learned that she was the owner, with her husband, of the barn and farm surrounding it on both sides of the road.  Patty was very friendly and offered to take these two city folk for a little tour of the farm and introduce us to some of her animals, mostly dairy cows.

Oink oink

Oink oink

On the way back to the pasture we passed a small pig pen and interrupted their rooting in the mud.

Patty leading us to meet her herd

Patty leading us to meet her herd

As Patty led us back to the grazing cattle a number of curious cows came up and wanted to meet us on a personal level.  They were very friendly and one began to push me from behind with a nose in the middle of my back.  They are beautiful animals and well cared for.

Patty's Farm 4

Patty's Farm 7

Patty regretfully told us that she and her husband are the last in their family to want to run the farm. Once they decide to retire the farm will most likely be sold to developers and homes will be built on the land. The small family farm is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

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Full of Hot Air

Basking in the glow

It’s hot air balloon time again in Northeast Ohio and it seems like every weekend brings opportunities to photograph these beautiful vehicles.  A few weeks ago I attended the evening balloon glow at the Blossom Time Balloon Festival in Chagrin Falls.  The event allowed me and a small group of photographer friends to circulate up close and personal during the inflation and the glow itself.  These images were some of my favorites showing close-up details and some of the vibrant colors of the balloons.

Balloon Glow

Balloon Contrast

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A Phoenix Has Risen

Back in early 2013 I published 2 blog postings about the old abandoned Cleveland Trust Company.  It was a incredibly beautiful bank building which had become deserted for newer more modern facilities under newer and more modern names.  It’s future was uncertain at that time but this week it reopened as a new downtown Cleveland Heinen’s supermarket.  The first major supermarket in downtown Cleveland in many years and much needed by the masses of new urban residents who have made Cleveland an exciting and vibrant city once again.  As far as I can tell from photos and TV reports most of the original flavor (excuse the pun) has been preserved so I thought I would re-post those original photos that I shot in 2012.

It’s nice to see something old made new again!

Inside of a vault door.  They don't make them like this anymore.

Inside of a vault door. They don’t make them like this anymore.

Vault door detail.

Vault door detail.

Rotunda skylight by Tiffany.

Rotunda skylight by Tiffany.

Round vault door.

Round vault door.

A lone key.

A lone key.

Not like all the others.

Not like all the others.

Evidence of the past.

Evidence of the past.

I can’t wait to make a trip downtown to see this new supermarket!

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Vintage Bikes from Simpler Times

Old English Racers

Old English Racers

About a week and a half ago my shooting friend Debra Rozin and I took a little trip to the Simpler Times Vintage Bicycle Gallery on Cleveland’s west side.  Externally the old storefront and larger warehouse behind would not draw your attention, but inside was a treasure trove of hundreds of old bicycles and bike parts in various conditions. Some were relatively new and others were over 100 years old.  For me, I was instantly transported back to my childhood, seeing old 3 speed bikes that we referred to as “English Racers” with their Sturmey Archer gear shift levers and smaller heavy balloon tired bikes that looked just like my first bike.  My secondhand “English Racer” was made in America, but some of these were actually made in Great Britain.

The Cleveland made Road Master

The Cleveland made Road Master

A couple of the most pristine old bikes were Road Masters, made in Cleveland by the Cleveland Welding Company.  These were big balloon tired bikes with hand brakes unlike most balloon tired bikes I’d ever seen.

I’ll definitely make a trip back some day soon.  I saw some accessories there that I’d like to add to my own bike.  Owner Jef Janis, his uncle and another assistant could not have been more welcoming and interesting to talk to.  Jef is a great photographer and artist in his own right and really appreciated our interest and efforts to capture unique photos of his treasures.   If you are in to bikes and bicycling pay a visit to Simpler Times, you won’t be sorry!

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