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After hearing that it was possible to visit the Trinity Site, I have always wanted to visit. I like the experience of “being there.” Regarding history, reading the story is great, seeing pictures is fine, but, actually being there makes the experience more personal and relatable. The Trinity Site is where the first atomic bomb test was detonated on July 16, 1945. It is open only twice a year, the first Saturday in April and October. To visit you really must want to visit! It is located securely on the northern end of White Sands Missile Range and is smack-dab in the middle of Middle-of-Nowhere.
In addition to the Trinity Site, there were other places I wanted to visit in western Texas and now I had assembled a list that made the trip worth while. I wanted to meander around the lonesomeness of West Texas, photograph the missions of El Paso, research the haunts of John Wesley Hardin, and visit the least populated counties in Texas.
A word about my photography. I do not set out with a preconceived idea of what to photograph. I do not follow a “style” of photography and I am not trying to tell a story with pictures, instead I allow the place to tell me its story. I react to what I see. I allow instincts, mood, feelings, impressions to guide me to photograph what I see. It is not until I get home that I really start to pay attention and evaluate what I have photographed and listen to what story they have to tell.
One of the first things that is evident is the lack of people in the photographs. That is because there were very few people present. The towns seem eerily deserted. I say ‘seem’ because there is evidence of people, cars, newspaper racks, signs, just no people. The streets of the towns tend to be wide and stretch on endlessly to the horizon. Outside of town it is possible to drive for hours on the lonely county roads without meeting another vehicle. The landscape is quite, there are no intrusive sounds of man-made machines, only the call of a bird accentuates the whisper of the wind. The next thing that I noticed in the photographs was the color. In an landscape where the artist’s palette is made of hues of brown, when there is color it is striking.
I come away from West Texas with the feeling of its loneliness. I would not describe West Texas as desolate or even forlorn because this gives the connotation of sadness. The people of West Texas are strong and resolute, stubbornly they choose to stay in a land that resist their presence. No matter how harsh the existence, and unforgiving the land, the people let their presence be known and that is what I have photographed.
Lonely Street of Robert Lee
Indian Paintbrush Mills County
Roadside Memorial Borden County
Abandoned home Borden County
City National Bank Colorado City Texas
Downtown intersection Gail Texas
Gun Range Mitchell County
Baker Hotel Colorado City Texas
Mason Lodge Barstow Texas
Indian Paintbrush Santa Anna Texas
Prairie Grass Loving County has a population density of 0.1 person per square mile.
Loving County Courthouse. Least Populated county in Texas with a population of 55
Mentone is the only town in Loving County with a population of 15.
Red farm land of Fisher County.
Pecos Texas home of first Rodeo
Pecos' most celebrated resident is Clay Allison a gun-fighter who stated of the 15 men he killed, "I never killed a man who didn't need it."
Fallout shelter Reeves County
Caboose Fort Stockton Texas
Roadside Memorial Franklin Mountains
Children taken from FLDS ranch in Eldorado Texas was brought to San Angelo the day I was there.
Bus of children taken to heavily guarded quarters.
Television truck San Angelo
Reporters set up San Angelo
Celebrated "Center of Texas Oak"
The "Center of Texas Oak" is now dead and will soon be no more.