The swings don’t, anymore


Beside the old Route 66 is an old playground. It’s hard to imagine anyone playing here, with the hard ground littered with glittery bits of broken beer bottles, but maybe in the past someone did.

Maybe I did. Santa Rosa was on our family’s route from home to the mountains, where we camped each summer of my childhood. We didn’t stop often on these trips; Santa Rosa would have been the first stop since home, and I guess there’s a chance that my sister and I were shooed from the car to go use up some energy before the next part of the trip commenced. (I am almost positive that it was in Santa Rosa that my dad gave me, in the very early days of my literacy, a lesson on how to find the correct restroom. The one I wanted, he explained, said, “Whoa, men.”)

These days, the swing set and the rest of that playground don’t have any visitors. Except for a photographer or two, stopping by.

Santa Rosa, New Mexico
photographed 5.4.2013

Posted on November 16, 2014, in Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This touches on a topic I thinks we both know something about; photography’s ability to help us connect with our memories. Old photographs obviously help us remember events of the past, but I’ve found it interesting how current images I make can trigger a memory of something long past. If our sense of smell is our most primitive as scientists tell us, then our visual recall must be pretty close behind.


    • I think it’s possible that photographers may have a stronger visual recall than “normal” people; I want to think that makes us better at what we do, that our deep, personal connections with our subjects comes through our images and impacts our viewers.

      On the same trip to photograph Santa Rosa that this image came from, I stood beside an abandoned gas station – the old kind, with the restroom doors on the outside – and had a completely unshakable feeling that it was the very place my dad had given me the reading lesson. There’s no way to prove it one way or the other, but it doesn’t matter: I know what I know.

      Liked by 1 person

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