America. Today is the The Fourth of July. I received an email from Michelle Obama talking about veterans. I read a Facebook post from a friend of mine talking about veterans and freedom. Those are perfectly fine sentiments, but…
We have a Veterans Day for living veterans and a Memorial Day for those veterans who have passed before us. The Fourth of July is much more then those two days. It is the celebration of the birth of our country. We celebrate with flags and fireworks. We celebrate by gathering together with friends and family. We celebrate by cooking regional food.
Our country, The United States of America, is much more the wars and the people who fight them. Those things shouldn’t be forgotten, but today is a celebration of the birth of the place we call home. It is sort of the sum of the parts.
Home grown music like jazz and the blues and rock and roll. It’s home grown food like fried chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs. It’s fine hand made craftsmanship like the row of Gibson guitars that I photographed at the factory in Memphis. It’s the old horns that make the sounds of music or the call to arms. It’s people and places. It’s the sabers that fought during the Civil War. It’s white picket fences. It’s the north, south, east and west. It’s the blue collar workers and the white collar workers. It’s doctors, nurses, soldiers, truck drivers and farmers. It’s machinists and factory workers. It is the people who live in rich and varied places, and who work hard to live there. It is white people, black people, yellow people, brown people, Native Americans and immigrants. It’s all of that and a lot more.
To do this list justice it would take hours to write and probably wouldn’t fit on this blog. But, you know what I’m saying and you get the idea.
I‘ve put together a small a group of pictures that give me a feeling of what I’m writing. They say a picture says 1000 words. Hopefully, they are right. Hopefully, my pictures are little details of America.
A word about these pictures. In August 2005 I was asked to illustrate two chapters of a book called, “The Cities Book.” I was assigned Memphis, Tennessee and Savannah, Georgia. I photographed these two places and headed back to New Orleans to photograph some more and do my editing and post production. You can figure out the rest since 29 August looms huge in anyone’s mind who lived through Katrina.
There are nine pictures here. Enjoy them. Oh, and have a happy Fourth of July.