A few years ago, on the way down South to Waycross, Georgia, via Highway 15, I noticed a striking scene of smoke filtering through some trees above a small green house - I turned back around to take a photo and saw a woman raking and burning leaves in piles, causing that roadside beauty in the late afternoon light. When I stopped to take her photo I was taken aback by her dog, barking fiercely at me while guarding his person. I kept shooting and she looked at me, then looked down and continued raking. I stopped and showed her what I was seeing and she smiled and was totally cool with me.
Anyway... it ended up making a really nice photo converted to black & white, so I printed and framed it and delivered it to her over a year or so later. Actually, I have to mention, I couldn't really remember where her house was... and on another drive to Waycross, Walker noticed a beautiful scene and pointed it out and it happened to be exactly her house. So we went, introduced ourselves and handed her the photo. She was doing the same thing as before, and wearing the same outfit and hat. She didn't say much, just smiled and took the photo and we talked for just a bit before continuing to Waycross.
More time passes and last week I received a fb message from Ben Reynolds, a friend and photo teacher at UGA, that Mary Ruth Moore is trying to get in touch with me about something. I hadn't seen her in like 15 years since I graduated from the photography department. Mary Ruth has been teaching photo at UGA forever and does the most beautiful pinhole photography you've ever seen. She taught during the Cortona studies abroad program I attended the summer of 99, so I took her photo class and became fascinated by her. Anyway... ask anyone about her and they'll have had the same experience of being touched by Mary Ruth's beauty inside and out.
So anyway... I called her wondering what in the world she wanted to say after all this time, and she explains a story about her friend Carol Anne plopping down this black and white photo while visiting, and she loved it and flipped it over and saw my name. I always forget to sign my prints but thank goodness on that print I had remembered, and Mary Ruth wanted to call and tell me the story and connection. Anyway, turns out Carol Anne helps care for Emma, the woman in the photo, and the frame had fallen from the wall so she was coming over to show the print to Mary Ruth.
The very next Day, Walker and I were invited to visit Mary Ruth and we had a wonderful time reuniting and just walking around her beautiful property and talking about pretty things. She has inspired us to break our film cameras back out and turn them into pinhole cameras. In a slow time for photography, one needs inspiration and I feel her contact was a gift. Well, that's my story on how things come back around in a neat way.
Holding one of her pinhole cameras and showing her most recent composition
Mary Ruth would like this "arc of light" Walker captured on her porch
Walker took a pic of us and immediately Mary Ruth started cracking up at Walker's unintentional photo stance
By the way, a selection of Mary Ruth Moore's photography is currently on display at Athens Academy in a show titled: