July 28, 2012

Photograph as 'Film' Still

When I first started working on the ranch and spending many a waking hour on horseback - my ranching partner, Lyle O'Bryan, would tell me story after story as we rode along with an occasional intermission of song. A true 'singing cowboy' - crooning from horseback as I would call out my requests. Among his many stories and characters who starred in them, he had told about a bronc rider named Homer Stanz. Homer, and many others, live on in Lyle's storytelling. And boy, can these cowboys tell stories. The tales fill the time like a narrative from a bygone era  - as I ride along - creating reel after reel of nostalgic cinematic images in my mind.

At the time, I was also going through some of the photographs my Great Grandmother had taken at rodeos - one stood out - the caption on the back read "Homer Stanz on Brown Jug at Lennox 1944". Here was the character portrayed in Lyle's story come to life of sorts in an old faded photograph that seemed to be layered with the haze of passing time. Like a storyboard image from an old movie production that matched the mental images conjured up by Lyle's story. I like the imperfections of the photograph which add even more romanticism -  making the moment seem rather elusive yet attainable - like an x-ray of a memory or thought.

I love and live for such coincidences in life - that somehow bring it all magically together. To have photographs come to life or stories told come to life in photographs. The moment when the past intersects with the present. Reality based fantasy. ©JEAN LAUGHTON