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Archive for September, 2010

So where does Times Beach come in?

By now you should know that I have a minor affliction for abandoned places.   Having a place that I once called home turn into an abandoned zone was the beginning, but my fascination still runs deep.   Someday, I hope to visit Pripyat, Ukraine.   Photographing abandoned farmhouses leaves me with a bittersweet fascination of the home’s history.  All of these places do not have a happy ending, Times Beach, Missouri, included.   It’s never a ‘happy’ ending when people are forced from their homes due to an ugly situation, and Times Beach was in a very nasty situation indeed.   However, the ending for Times Beach, known today as Route 66 State Park, is better than for most stories of abandoned places.

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On occasion, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other sources (this article is good for a laugh at google translation)will report new information regarding the possible conversion of the new runway to a hub for Chinese imported goods.   The last time I checked in, Mid-America Airport in Illinois had already received a test flight from China.   However,  many politicans in Missouri, including Claire McCaskill, are still pushing for the Chinese hub at Lambert Airfield as a way to create new local jobs.

The idea of turning what was once Carrollton into a holding pad for cheap plastic goods created under questionable labor practices does not personally sit well with me.   This is because I am a former resident of the area and as such, I have fond memories of the place I once knew as my home. I have a personal attachment to the redbud tree my mom stuck in the ground as a flimsy stick and somehow grew up to be an impressive purple spectacular every spring.  Therefore, of course it makes me sad to think that tree may be bulldozed to make way for large metal containers of vogue cardigans and video cartridges.

Carrollton is gone.  Other than the natural elements that quickly came in to reclaim the land Lambert tore up, everything else that I recognized as a kid simply does not exist.   The old familiar memories are added to with new fond memories everyday, taking me further and further away from Carrollton.

I once argued for Carrollton to be turned into a park or nature reserve and I do still hold that small, selfish little wish. (more…)

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