Pushing boundaries or in my element?*

Since school was out Mary Margaret came home with me this weekend to Middlesboro, which really was a trip to Knoxville for Saturday. A family trip, my dad is driving through the crappy mist we had on the way back.

Friday was my last class for three weeks, but works starts back in 12 hours.

At 2 PM today, Dec. 17, we will be hitting Evarts, Ky for our first winter session workshop. It’s my first workshop that I can do completely free of school-work-worry (although that hasn’t stopped me at any of the first three either, I’ll take pictures before a test any day).

Evarts to my classmates – a complete mystery. The sound of such a place where there is no cell phone service and no fast food sounds desolated at first, but they all believe in an opportunity to find good stories. They’re excited about a foreign place, but some still had misrepresented thoughts of farmland (nearly nonexistent in a place of hollows) and livestock (it’s more like pets, because no one is really out to make money off a horse their grandson rides or a cow their granddaughter likes to feed).

Evarts to me – home. While I tell people I’m from Middlesboro, I feel nearly as comfortable saying that I am from Evarts. I only lived there until I was two, but found myself returning to Harlan Co. all the time to visit my grandparents (in Ages and Evarts, which are only a few miles from each other). Most of my childhood stories come from Harlan.

Evarts will be the biggest road trip for many of our students, who only live in Lexington. It’s three hours from Lexington, but seems like it’s a different world. For other students, like Allie, it will be a breeze compared to the 15.5 hours to Houston, Tx she’ll be doing immediately following the workshop. I’ll be pulling a decent drive to Nashville, but nothing like a 33 hours drive from Ventura, Ca to Middlesboro.

Workshops are geared to bring people into situations that they’re not used to, make them think on their toes. They get you out of your element. I am not as familiar with Evarts as my dad, who lived there for half his life, or even better my Uncle Jack, who not only knows the place better than google, he can give you a full history on any building in the city (or neighboring camps), but it is still a part of me.

I think part of this week will be me learning to work with what I have been around, but haven’t seen. Often we glance over things because they’re so familiar, not recognizing stories. I have three solid story ideas right now, one of which I will definitely be working on hard. The other two, I will take as I can. I will be interested to see what photo stories I come out with at the end of the week.

The blog posts may come daily or maybe only one or two this week. I’ll be shooting thousands of pictures, so come back to enjoy a few.

*Between the lines:

Sorry to rip off Dariush’s idea about “spinning off the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon series, where every episode would have two titles, both of them usually laden with puns” but this is actually deserving of two. I hope you follow.


2 Responses to “Pushing boundaries or in my element?*”

  1. rock and roll brad, so far evarts is looking really nice. I’m excited to see you guys get up here and begin working.

  2. i’m nervous. i’m leaving in about….half an hour and i find myself really, truly nervous. but at the same time, i’m incredibly excited. see you down there.

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