Thursday, 7 August 2008

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

It's Friday and it's a Fiesta !! At least it is, thanks to Candid Carrie ! :-)

I love taking photos of pretty scenes, flowers, people I love and so on. However, sometimes also like taking photos of life as it really is. Photos that may not appeal to everyone, because they show a side of life that we may not always want to see.

I like the history and stories behind these types of photos. Sometimes you can be lucky enough to find the real story. Other times you can glean enough, by talking to people that have been around for a time, to imagine a bit of the history.


This wishing well has always appealed to me. As has the decaying statue of a deer, in the photo below. They both stand in the grounds of a brick, single storey, apartment complex that has seen better times. The style of the buildings and these garden decorations, give the impression that it would have once been an elegant place to live in. That these buildings once belonged to someone who cared.



I spied this elderly Asian lady, pushing her shopping trolley along the street. She was having a lot of difficulty, getting over many of the icy spots on the footpath. As I caught up with her, I heard her ask a young man if he could help her get the cart over the curb. His reply was less than polite, as he walked off.

As I walked up the street with her, helping her over the ruts of frozen snow, etc, she told me a little of her story.

She had been a 'mail order bride'. Her American husband had abandoned her and their son for a newer model. She was very proud of the fact that she had raised her son by herself and that he was now at a good college, studying to be a doctor. She told me that 'He's a good boy'. Much of the credit for that, I think, should go to this woman, his Mum.


Another house, that has seen better times.

I've been told by some of the old timers, in the area, that these were once really nice homes in an area that was semi rural. Now they have been absorbed into the city and are home to drug dealers, gang members, sex offenders and others of that ilk.





The above two photos are of an old abandoned motel, that sits just across from the Peppermill Casino.

Towards the end of 2007, two homeless, Vietnam Veterans were squatting at the motel. It was an extremely cold night and they lit a fire to try to keep warm. The room they were in caught fire and both men died.

Veterans make up a large proportion of America's homeless population. So for me, these last two photos show a contrast.

On one hand you have a squalid, decaying motel and a burnt out room where two of, what President Bush calls 'America's Heroes', died.

On the other hand, directly across the street is a Casino, with all it's glittering lights, cheap food, scantily clad cocktail waitresses, money and opulence.

It gives you pause for thought....

18 comments:

Suzanne said...

I love that fact that you are curious and want to know "the rest of the story". I'm that way too. I don't feel encouraged by the fact that that young man was so callous to the older lady.

It is a shame about the Vietnam vets. I know for a fact that a lot of men never recovered from the emotional scars of that war. It's very sad because they were my generation and I saw the damage up close and personal.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

Susie said...

Wow! That's food for thought...glorious thought. I appreciate being provoked among the sea of pictures of kids and dogs. How refreshing.

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog today. It isn't quite as provocative but my slice of life:-)

Lori said...

Those pictures and stories do make one stop and think. My dad got himself a mail-order bride from China who is, I think and hope, the flip side of the same coin -- she's very happy and we're thrilled to have her here. Every now and then one of my dad's crazy ideas turns out great. :)

Apple Joos said...

Good for you for helping her out. It makes me sick what the younger generations have become. My husband refuses to let chivalry die and people are amazed that there is a man out there still looking out for the elderly.

Mamahut said...

Isn't it amazing that that is happening right here under our noses and most people wouldn't ever notice? Happy Friday!

Jennifer said...

Interesting pics and stories! Thank you for sharing those!

Nichole and Scott said...

Ok, I know it snows in Vegas because I lived there. Are these pics in fact from Vegas or Reno? Just curious. Thank you for taking time to help this woman. You may have been the only kind person to talk to her that day. Sad but true. I am a social worker and you would be shocked to hear the stories of why people live on the streets and how they got there. Our system is sooooo broken. Vegas has the richest of the rich and wasteful and the poorest of the poor scraping just to get by. Amazing that the two live right next to eachother. Imagine what could be done with the money made in one of those casinos in a day, week or month alone. So many could be helped.

Nancy said...

These are beautiful! I especially love the wishing well, but it's great that each one tells a story.

Kat said...

I love that you did not just take pictures of what intrigued you...but you "got to know" your subjects. Not a lot of people would have interacted like that. Great photos...and stories...

Anne said...

Interesting for this kiwi to see a slice of another country. I would so love to visit America, who knows maybe one day...

Lula! said...

Loved this post, Karen...good, good stuff. One of my favorites from you.

Jennifer P. said...

THanks so much for visiting! I recognize you from the SITS line up! Didn't know you were from New Zealand though---I love getting pictures and insights from a "foreigner" :). Your Fotos were pretty deep. I love the way you can see the history of the houses and buildings, and loved the story of the little Asian woman.

Wishing you all the best!

addhumorandfaith said...

What a touching post, Karen. Many times when I drive through old parts of town and see big, old run-down houses, I think about how proud the first owners must have been, and how sad they would be to see it now in such sad shape.

Terri said...

What a story she has.

ALL of your pictures are amazing! And yes, it does make you sit back and think for a bit! Thanks for sharing

EmBee said...

Because you're from New Zealand I immediately came to the conclusion these pictures were taken there but I couldn't get over how much it looks like every squalid place on the outskirts of nearly every big city in America.

When I think of NZ, I imagine gorgeous luscious greenery everywhere with breathtaking vistas on every horizon. NZ is tops on my list of places to see before I die.

So where were these pics taken?

christie said...

You got me thinking...that's for sure. Nice photos!

{Anissa} said...

Loved all your pictures and that was a sad sorry of that old lady but aleast she still has her son. You are a kind hearted person for helping her.

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

Hey, that's my house! JK, of course; I only sell drugs at work. heehee

Great thoughts today; so much is going on behind every scene....