My friend, photographer John Flavell, was interested when I told him in June that my neighbors were planning an unusual tribute for Dempsey, their father and grandfather. They had hired a wagon, pulled by Betsy and Chester, and driven by Terry, to cover the last two miles of taking the casket from his funeral to the family cemetery, located on the old home place. John agreed to join me there, and he was able to use a couple of his photos in the newspaper he works for -- one on the front page. He has recently sent me a few additional ones, which I am putting on this blog so that the family members can see them as well.
The day before, a Sunday, I had shown John the route the wagon would take. Then on that Monday the weather ended up being cloudy, with some sprinkles, which makes for good light as long as it is not raining too hard, which is what it did during the funeral. In fact, we weren't sure the wagon pull was going to be possible. I also took some photos that day, so John's images here tell his story. It is what he saw and how he saw it.
|arriving at the cemetery|
I too enjoy the part of photography that leads to stories told. The trick is to blend the photo-journalism impulse with making more than a snapshot. Making art. Allowing the viewer to see something in a fresh way. In addition, this time, there was a personal connection, permission given, appreciation expressed, a quiet, steady two miles over a back road on a drizzly day, and a family pulling together.
I thank Dempsey's family for asking me to take photos and for their willingness to share this tribute in a public way. So this last photo is by me, and it is the one I had in mind to try to make: