1961 Plymouth

Police cruiser - 2009

This classic was built at the end of an era of unusual excess in automobile design — the period of flamboyant fins, rocketship tail lights, and copious chrome. This had been a police cruiser, and was restored in that manner with one of the dual headlights converted to a red flasher.

Even in this earlier time, cars had become such an integral part of our cultural persona that we signaled our status, beliefs and view of ourselves by the cars we drove. The extreme design elements of the late 50’s and early 60’s surely said something about who we thought we were and where we thought we were headed.

Tail end (of the era) - 2009

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Outfall

Outfall - 2009

Outfall - 2009

This image started as an abstract, but somehow also became a reflection on our culture and economy. It is interesting how the colors, the grid-like overlays, and the shapes contribute to an ambiguity of meaning that the imagery of the pipe and wall alone could not carry.

Stories to tell

Stories to tell  -  2009

Stories to tell - 2009

Vacant and for sale, this old building in the heart of Frederiksted looked like it had many stories to tell. The stone and brick lower level, arched arcade, wood upper floor and tin hip roof epitomize the style of an earlier era that makes Frederiksted so charming. The entire town is a gem in the rough, just waiting for the restorer’s touch to make it sparkle again.

Window to the Past

Abandoned - 2009

Abandoned - 2009

This window in an abandoned hurricane blow-out looked in on a tiled shower stall, with a green curtain still hanging — all lit from above through the missing roof. It is a strange feeling to come across these not-so-old ruins with reminders of the lives lived there still blowing in the breeze while the vines grow in.

Along King Street in Frederiksted

Along King Street - 2009

Along King Street - 2009

A young woman was relaxing in the shade of an arched arcade along the main thoroughfare of Frederiksted on the west end of St. Croix. The colors of her clothes and the building, her white headscarf, and the classic arch of the building’s arcade made for an iconic image of this old and economically depressed town.

Rum Factory Pot Still

Pot Still - 2009

Pot Still - 2009

This is an old pot still used in the making of rum back in the nineteeth century. With its strange gooseneck this is a somewhat unusual-looking relic of the sugar-based argibusiness of the Caribbean’s past. The image is dark and muddy to reflect my feelings about that past and some of its effects on people that continue to be passed down through the generations, even today.

For a gorgeous oil painting of an ancient sugar mill, and a description of things that took place there, check the May 20th post from Bonnie Luria, St. Croix painter and fellow blogger. Honestly, we didn’t conspire to address the same subject on the same day!

Colonial-era “Copper”

While enduring a stressful period in one of my other endeavors, it seemed a good time to work on what I hoped would be a peaceful landscape, a pretty picture. This was the result.

Copper - 2009

Copper - 2009

The object in the foreground is a colonial-era artifact known as a “copper”. These large iron containers were used to boil down the cane juice in the production of sugar during the sugar and slave-trade era in the Caribbean. So even this tranquil scene carries a mixed message from our past, and begs questions about the vestiges of that past that remain.

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