•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Elegy


I'm not sure its a healthy relationship for a photographer to have with his subject, but today I'm in mourning for a barn. Yesterday I went back to Bunnell Farm after an absence of a month or two, and the main barn had been demolished. Rick said, "I told you I was going to do it. The old barn was too low for anything."

It's not outright mourning; it certainly isn't a willed act, but a feeling has been with me since yesterday morning of something important lost. I'd like to think I had shot the barn thoroughly, but I know there's always something new to find. Yet it really isn't about shots not taken. It's true that the ceiling was low. That's how the sun could clear the top and light the courtyard on the western side - a view best appreciated through the barn's west windows Without the barn to hold the middle, there isn't any courtyard. It was built low because built for cows, and also for that reason painted white as required by law. That's why the sun pouring through the great row of eastern windows lit the space so brightly. This photo taken several months ago may be the best elegy.

The two silos and the tall barn in the back still stand. So does the back shed and the little garage on the right. Everything in the middle is gone, and a new slab portends whatever is to come.