Welcome Home

On Saturday December 3rd, 2011, I called Korey to see what he was up to on a day that was so uncharacteristically warm for an Upstate December day. I made my way to his apartment as we thought of something to do. I had about half of a roll of film to shoot on my Pentax and he had about 4 clicks left on his Bronica. We agreed that we should continue our day by exploring the old Airforce base in North Syracuse, so we did.

As I stepped out of the car to walk upon glass covered streets, a surreal breeze wrapped around my body. Without hesitation, my imagination started to rebuild the ruins my eyes met. I patched roofs, realigned shutters, trimmed hedges, hung gutters, painted mailboxes, replaced doorknobs and made an order for some new panes of glass. My imagination created a “hay-day state” that kept my eyes shifting at an alarming rate.

I hoped that time would slow down and the sun be merciful and grant me the privilege of stepping through every doorway and making my presence in every room on the base. With each step to the threshold, I wondered what the house looked like with pictures hanging on the wall and kids fighting over crayons. When dinner was being prepared, what sort of aroma graced this home that now smelled of urine and mildew? Where did the beauty go?

The fact that there was not a single wholesome pane of glass in the entire area proved that there is something about destruction that is beautiful. With every step through this post-apocalyptic scene, I found a reason to smile. These houses were once homes and though the weather and time did join forces to lay waste to the base, there was still beauty in the heart of the decay. With each door frame behind me, I whispered “Welcome Home”.


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