What if your history was erased? If not your history, your footprint, your material existence? Gone. What if tomorrow you left all you owned and just disappeared, how long would it be until the things you left behind were discarded, ignored? How long until they became a nuisance? Well, a local house was just torn down, I think maybe within the last few days, I swear I was on the road last week and it was still standing. It had become a legitimate nuisance, dangerous, kids were hanging out there, animals were living in it, rotted floors, walls and now it is as if it never were there. It is happening a lot around town, quietly the old, forgotten and discarded are coming down. I can count 3 structures in recent months, all within 2 miles of my house and I know of even more that will be joining them soon. I am not talking about historical sites, or places that we demand to save, but at one time everywhere meant something to someone. This one in particular still had proof of life, one that suddenly stopped years back. It was like a time capsule, frozen the day its owner left and never returned. There is a public history to this house, some of I believe, some I am not sure, but I actually used to see the old man sit in the front in his folding chair. The grass was ignored, the place was run down even when he was there, but he was always out front watching the cars go by. I remember the first time I noticed he wasn’t there, his chair was on its side, lying in the tall grass, you just knew he was not coming back, that had to been almost 20 years ago, maybe more.
I used to stop and photograph the outside of the house every few months. It was a cool creepy old building, especially in black & white. I even photographed the inside once. You can see some of the shots below or the whole set by clicking here. It was surreal, there were no doors, most the windows were gone, the bathroom had been swallowed by the basement and the place was trashed. Yet, you could get a sense of how it was a home at one point. Proof of a life everywhere: a house blessing hanging on a door, the TV in he corner, the furniture still there, school books, a closest still full of clothes, suitcases packed, holiday decorations, mail, items that are around your house now, all still there just left. Until this week… now I assume this proof is in a landfill, the lot has been razed, not a shred of evidence. I had known the building was going to be torn down, it was in the paper a few months back, it was just a matter of time, I am shocked it took so long, yet when I passed it today… I was sad to see it gone, erased.