All The Ones Before Me
Made a lot of photos recently of corn and soybean harvests. I’ve made a bunch of these photos over my career. Made so many that another photographer made a photo of me standing on the hood of a tractor plowing a dusty field. It’s somewhere in the photo collection. I’ll have to find it.
Consider that I am just one of an uncounted number of photographers who've made harvest photos this year. Typically, in the news business, the photo disappears the day after it is published. The joke being the newspaper ends up at the bottom of a birdcage to catch droppings. I’m sure that has happened to my photos. Or they end up in the trash. Today it would be recycled but only if you have a physical paper and don’t consume the news on an electronic device.
The photo above seems to be an ordinary photo of cobbed corn in a crib. It is, with one exception.
This is the last corn crop from the Bigham Farm.
You know the Bigham Farm. It’s on the west side of Hanawalt just after you turn off Cleveland Avenue. Before you get to the dead-end at the new five-lane County Line Road.
Only it’s now called Bigham Ridge. The farm field the corn above and Bigham’s hay came from is now a neighborhood. Houses, garages, backyards, and a roundabout-style road that surrounds the Bigham Farm pond with fake swans to keep away geese.The families that live on Bigham Ridge never knew Sam. Never knew he wasn’t pleased I was making photos of his last hay crop because he said it wasn’t as good as he’d wanted. A poor crop. His last crop to be remembered by.
Someone’s backyard now looks over the small valley toward Alum Creek where Sam Bigham once said he and his friends would get snacks after school and sit on the hill and look at the nudist colony just below the farm.
The photos of corn I made today may be the last crop from the Braun Farm fields. It may be the last time tractors, plows, fertilizers, herbicides, weeders, and combines ever run on the land.
Someday the people who will live and work on the Braun Farm property won’t remember or have known Kevin Scott or the brothers who farmed it before.
Someday all that will remain are the photos. Photos made by me and that large group of photographers who went out during the harvest to find the best photos they could. Photos to be remembered by somebody.
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A photo gallery of photos made today at the Braun Farm are below. for paid subscribers.