Our new year in Alabama has started off with rain and more rain. I’ve measure 7.20 inches in the past ten days at my house. Sunday the temperature got up to 72. I got home from taking Mom out to eat and getting groceries changed into my work clothes and ventured out to dig up unwanted hackberry and privet coming up in my flower beds and was shocked by a twenty degree drop. A few minutes later the rain started and by the next morning we were getting freezing rain and sleet. It’s going to be a long time before I’ll be able to plow up the garden.
Between rains I’ve been hunting for Blackie’s and Levi's fence collars. Levi’s was unsnapped during one of the typical tussles he has with the girls. I’ve walked and walked the three acres and haven’t been able to find it, even though it has a red strap. Last week I walked out to the mail box to pick up my paper before going into work, looked down and there was Blackie standing beside me watching me get the paper out of the box. I asked her “what are you doing out?” and got a look from her like what? I thought the battery was dead, so I hunted up a screwdriver and a nine volt battery. I took the collar off and the controller box was gone. Again I asked her what did you do with your box, only to get the what look again. She’s been busy chasing mice in the lean too on the back of the barn, and it has to be somewhere around the equipment.
I love old barns and have tried to capture the ones in my area before they are gone. Especially since the loss of our old barn that was over a hundred years old after Mom sold our dairy farm. The following is an event which happened on one of my photo trips out of NW Alabama with a good friend. The names have been changed, but it has nothing to do with protecting the innocent. I’ve also included a link to a photography reference website for photographer rights.
Thelma and Louise shoot the barn, police called
Thelma paid a visit to the Coondog Cemetery outside Tuscumbia Alabama during its 75th birthday celebration. While there she ordered a custom engraved stone from Hal for her faithful departed rescued Australian Shepherd she had for 16 years. She agreed to pick it up later at Hal’s place in Whistle Stop Junction. When the stone was finished, she invited Louise to go with her, as both were old barn lovers and do a barn shooting trip on the way.
A trip that normally takes thirty minutes took about two hours to make. They kept pulling off and taking photographs of barns, old houses, and horses. Both just love horses, especially horses and barns together. Hal lived way out in the country what some folks might call the boonies. He had given clear directions, but Thelma and Louise were so busy looking at barns and horses that they kept missing roads to turn off and kept calling Hal. One spot they pulled off to shoot horses was directly across from the turn off to Hal’s place. They get back in the truck without noticing Hal down the side road out in his yard waving at them. They trucked on down the road and when they got to a dead end at an intersection or T as most folks would call it, realized that they had missed the turn off again. But first there was a great old barn near the intersection they had to shoot.
After visiting a spell and getting pictures of the creek behind Hal’s house, Hal loaded up Casey’s headstone and the Auburn stone that Thelma decided she also wanted. Hal told them how to get to two barns on a side road on the way back to the main road.
They turned off onto the side road, found the first barn, stopped on the side of the road and where taking pictures of the barn when they spotted horses in the back and ventured a little too far along a side ditch to get pictures of the horses. The woman of the plantation, the Wild Eyed Witch of Whistle Stop Junction (hereafter known as WEW), who had been sitting in her driveway watching them, shot down the road and pulled up in front of Thelma and Louise demanding to know what they were doing. They apologized, telling her that they were taking barn and horse pictures and got carried away when they saw the horses. They told her Hal a friend of her husband had told them about the barn and said they would leave and started back to the road. Humph she said as she looked at the cameras, Thelma and Louise like they were horse thieves, not believing a word.
They get back in the truck to go down the road to the next barn the Wild Eyed Witch started following them. As they stop at the next barn WEW drove past them and apparently circled around and was waiting for them when they came back to the main road. Coming back was a nicer angle of the first barn and T&L stopped in the road and shot the barn a couple of times. As WEW pulls up beside them demanding to know their names, Thelma drives off with WEW in hot pursuit toward the southern border. At one point Thelma speeds up and passes a logging truck then slows down, just to make her think that the criminals were trying to loose her. They make a couple of stops and while taking photos of an old cotton gin, a local mounty pulls up beside the truck. Soon he is joined by another Whistle Stop policeman and two county mounties. WEW who had been following a safe distance pulls up behind the truck to prevent a back door escape practically sitting on Thelma’s bumper.
After explaining to the first lawman what they were up to and showing him the barn pictures Thelma had taken the day before, he talked to Hal who confirmed their story. After taking both of the licenses for a criminal check, he looked at the stones in the back of the truck as he went back to his patrol car. Meantime the other three constables were behind the truck discussing the situation with WEW. Thelma just kept staring into her side mirror watching the foursome behind her truck until Louise asked what are you thinking? Thelma just kept staring into the mirror and finally says “Fried Green Tomatoes. You know that scene in the mall parking lot?” Thelma said she could claim she was so upset she accidently put the truck into reverse. To which Louise laughed and yelled “I’ve got more insurance than you have honey”.
After a while, the flatfoot hands the licenses back. WEW is waving her arms at the other lawmen as she is told it’s not against the law to shoot from a public road. Thelma starts the truck up, thinks about it for a minute and decides to drives forward. On the way back to Whistle Stop Junction, they spy another barn behind the foundation of a long gone house and pull into the driveway. As they are shooting the barn, the Mounties speed toward town not slowing down as they go by. As they hit town, Thelma and Louise decided that it was way past lunch time and pull into the local malt shop for a hot dog and a burger. Louise calls her husband to tell him what happened while waiting for the food to come. A few minutes later he calls back asking what were we still doing there, cause it would be a long way for him to drive if they stopped us again and he had to come and bail us out.
A happy ending to the story did happen as the result of the police raid. Hal later sold four engraved stones to the lawmen. A bunch of pretty barn pictures were shot, but not WEW’s barn, it wasn’t that pretty.