Cheryl and I took a wonderful day trip to the Catskills last week. Our first stop was at our favorite roadside restaurant. After spending the better part of an hour enjoying the peeling paint, signage, barbed wire and grapevines we headed up to our favorite resort. There we visited the greenhouse and potting shed, spent some time at the indoor skating rink and in the game house. We moved on to the natatorium where we relaxed and whiled away an hour or so by the pool. Finally we wound our way up to the hotel and visited several rooms. Not much happening there so – back outside to explore the grounds a bit before heading home. I love the Catskills!
Shooting and working on these photographs was a somber process. While in the buildings I was struck by the presence of the past; it was as if the patients were still there in spirit, looking over my shoulder and protecting themselves and the space. I was careful not to disturb anything – as careful as one would be in a friend’s home. There were toys and dolls around each corner – it’s likely many of these were props used by other photographers – but, still, I left them just so. Processing the images was a journey in itself. There were some surprises and some unexpected finds. I hope that my reverence for what these images represent shows through. They aren’t meant to exploit, but to pay homage.
This trip was the perfect antidote to the children’s asylum in the previous post. Beautiful weather, full access to the grounds and a very positive vibe at the site all contributed to a great day to explore and photograph. Plus I met a baby wallaby. I didn’t photograph her; she was very shy and I didn’t want to frighten her.