5 Sep 2011
Our current economic reality has many victims. It reflects in the faces of people who have lost everything. Houses stand empty, businesses shuttered. A quiet despair creeps into the soul of our nation. The common man, losing ground, watches the rift between having and not having widen, rupture and dissolve into a chasm of unfathomable depth.
One need not look far from home to encounter the surrender of dreams. For 25 years I have driven past the same family-owned seasonal amusement park. What started as a 9-hole golf course expanded to include mini-golf, a driving range, batting cage, snack bar and playground. This spring it did not open. Absent is the twack of club against ball, the laughter of groups of teens, the familiar sounds of snack bar orders, the simple din of people having fun. Absent is the ka-ching! of a business generating income for its owner.
A visit to the park today yields a melancholy message. Although there is a beauty in the way Mother Nature reclaims her own, there are also poignant scenes lurking just beyond memory's reach. However, it is the sense of total abandonment and neglect that clamps its fist around my heart and won't let go. These photos are about more than property. They represent what is left of someone's dream, a life's hard work, the roots that provided security, sustenance and pride. Look beyond the images to the lives left behind. There but for the grace...