The tornado first touched down in a little town called Eldon on the highway to Lake of the Ozarks. It took out some 70 homes and businesses before staggering away roughly along U.S.54, hopscotching white-trash-drunk another 20 miles before dropping into the west end of Jefferson City, Missouri. It blew around a storage facility like a bunch of paper cups once neatly arranged on a picnic table. It picked up new cars carefully displayed by a Chevy dealer like a toddler arm-collecting Hot Wheels to toss into piles. It ripped up most of a Sonic restaurant and blew the drive-in menus to a golf course ten miles east. There goes the Break Time. There goes an apartment complex. There goes a YMCA. It slugged into the three blocks between a hospital and a high school destroying homes and stately mansions while the hospital went untouched and the high school's football field stayed afoot after minor clipping. It slid just close enough to Lincoln University to send the president scurrying down to the basement as it ripped up his historic home. It jumped the bluffs protecting U.S. 50 to slam the similar stone house belonging to a local judge, who was away for the night and possibly now forever. It heavily damaged the oldest school in town, now used only for 9th graders, who had been dismissed for the summer just that very afternoon. Then it aimed for East Capital Avenue.
The homes that extend from the State Capital and the Downtown date their construction as far back as the 1830's Some stately. Some modest. Some ornate. Some just old. Some had been boarded up and their owners sued by the city for extensive repairs. Some owned by preservationists who had dumped money into them to create historic treasures. Roughly eight square blocks beat and robbed like pedestrians walking the wrong neighborhood on a bad night.
I'd like to say I've a broad portfolio of works based on photographic captures from this neighborhood, but I don't. I've a few, though, and I offer them here. I'm quite proud of several, but have previously exhibited none - no real market. Now they reflect images from the past. Each of the subjects of these works have either been radically compromised or is gone entirely - literally, gone in a twist.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.