To Seligman and Beyond
I like to get in the car and end up somewhere. Anywhere. And I like documenting the story that quietly follows me along the highway as I allow the road to dispel the regularities of daily life and the tireless pace of Los Angeles, the city I’ve called home most of my life.
Usually on my journies, I’m on the trigger side of the camera, but every once in a while, I’ll find myself staring down the lense on the focus side of things. My wife is a hobbyist photographer, a damn good one, who regularly second shoots for me. Before we married, It was much easier to escape my picture being taken; but she has a camera too, and so we drive and shoot together, where we find and create the stories that emerge along the way.
Last November, we drove through the southern desert on our way to elope, but getting there meant stopping wherever we could.
We found our way to Seligman, a town as antique as it is classic Americana. It’s one of those lost towns off Route 66 that was both deserted and saved by the major interstates, the way green bean casserole and candied yams make their lone desirable appearance once a year, when you want to look back with nostalgia, but only when the occassion fits and you know you get to move on.
It’s where the Pixar movie Cars was inspired, and where Chinese tourists come to get a taste of “real” America.
A hodgepodge of the collective tastes, fashions and feelings, the cultural iconographies that somehow speak of an American “past”, that have endured as our country’s own.
It is an amusing little town, visible mostly to tourist on their way to the Grand Canyon. I found ways to amuse myself: role-playing mechanic, yelling into the air, meeting new people.
The locals were a little stiff. So, I took refuge in a private sanctuary to collect my thoughts.
We decided to stay for the night, grab a burger and take some photos around town. A road trip is a lot like life, but on a mini scale. You start out expecting one thing to happen, then something entirely different takes shape all on it’s own. You don’t really know what you’re doing, and the less you care about getting to where you’re headed, the more enjoyable whereever you are seems to be. Maybe that’s why it’s so appealing. It’s a lot like life, just easier than the real thing.