This old power plant in my home town has been on my good-intentions-to-shoot list for decades. When I finally got around to it, was I ever in for a surprise — a surprise I did not want.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
For reasons, the origin of which I cannot plumb, on the afternoon of April 13, 2013, I was moved do something that had been simmering on the backburner of my good intentions file for years, to wit: Shoot the old Arkansas Power and Light Company power plant on Fourth Avenue in my home town of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Since I have now lived here for 50 years and noticed the old abandoned structure the first week of my residence, I can say to myself, "Self, it's about time, what's the holdup been?"
On that day in April, I shot the building with light from the east and decided to return later in afternoon hours and shoot it when the west end was nicely illuminated. Not learning my lesson the first time, on May 18, when I returned for the afternoon shoot, I discovered that someone had started demolishing the old structure. For whatever providential prodding it was that made me finally get off my duff on this project, I am eternally grateful. The pictures in this series are no doubt some of the last to be shot of the old structure.
The stacks for the old plant stand like sentries for the old structure.
After I went back to get afternoon shots, my intentions were to head back to the east side in the morning to get more details of the tall windows, a task which turned out to be impossible. The bare vines you see in the pictures had fleshed out with deep greenery in my absence. The windows will never again be a photographic target.
Behold, the price of procrastination. Had I held out longer, I would have had a pile of rubble to shoot.
The structure is far beyond reclamation, and sooner or later it would have probably collapsed had the demolition not begun. Nevertheless, for a malcontent such as myself, it is like losing an old friend and a familiar sight that always stirred a little imagination. And not being able to shoot those windows is a good reminder of that deprivation is frequently the price of procrastination.
N O T E S:
Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.