Thursday, May 3, 2012


Mill  Creek, (Tehema Co.) CA
About fifty years ago, the family was driving from somewhere to somewhere else, and Mom got a hankerin’ to photograph barns. 

North of Lincoln, (Placer Co.) CA
We didn’t stop for these, mind you.  She just pointed Dad’s Kodak Signet out the window of the ’63 Fairlane Ranchwagon and snapped away.  Somehow the blurry visages were his fault. 

Near Lodoga, (Colusa Co.) CA
Perhaps, however, that’s why barns hold such fascination. 

Fandango Pass, (Modoc Co.) CA
Old wooden structures – many never painted – standing solitary in a vast plain of wheat or hay.  Or at the edge of an orchard or next to a farmhouse framed in cottonwoods.

Garden Highway (Sacramento Co.) CA
I drive by and think about their construction.  Post and beam, I suppose.  Maybe framed, I don’t know. 

Fandango Pass Road, (Modoc Co.) CA
A hundred or more years back, there was no uniform building code for the barn.  Just make sure it kept the feed dry and the livestock clear of the elements.  Again a supposition. 

Malakoff Diggins, (Nevada Co.) CA
I suspect the farmer or rancher needed this shelter.  He assembled the necessary materials or hew them himself from the woodlot. 

Newcastle, (Placer Co.) CA
Then, one Saturday, neighbors might gather.  In the ground, a pig might be being roasted.  A gingham clad wife or daughter might prepare lemonade.  And the men would block and tackle the framing into place. 

Bridgeport (Nevada Co.) CA
Siding would be nailed, a loft with a pulleyed hook extending beyond the gable and massive wooden doors that either swung or rolled open and closed.

Albion, (Mendocino Co.) CA
There might be a dance at the end of this day’s work.  No inspector would call.  And, in a week or a year, the owner would reciprocate.  Neighbor helping neighbor: Community.

Near Richvale, (Butte Co.) CA
Scooting around on rural roads, eschewing the Interstate or four-lane, perhaps because of Mom shooting Dad’s old Signet 35 out the window of the speeding Ford, I stop for the occasional barn. 

Pilot Hill, (El Dorado Co.) CA
I snap its picture and think about the sweat, toil and community that brought the thing into being eighty to a hundred years ago. 

Capay Valley, (Yolo Co.) CA
I wonder what we do today, together, that is as meaningful or as lasting as the hay or livestock barn cooperatively built simply because a neighbor needed it. 

© 2012
Church of the Open Road Press

1 comment:

  1. Hey there Mr. Brilliant! Those are sure very old aged barns, they look really very old. I wonder how long the barns have been stand-living in the middle of those land-tracks. One thing I really like when we go out for a road trip that is miles away from the city is that it gets me the chance to see some beautiful views, especially barns in the fields.