Faded Glory

About a year ago my daughter was riding in a horse show in nearby Albemarle County. There was a couple of hours of downtime between events so I went off photo-wandering the Albemarle back roads and found this image.

It’s fair to say this flag is no longer what it was—and the nation it represents is no longer what it was. The flag remnant is an obvious indicator of neglect and decay—perhaps the same can be said for this nation. There’s no help for this piece of cloth—I’d like to think that’s not the case for this country.

The owner of a nearby gas station told me the elderly man who lived in this old house was a recluse who had moved into the abandoned building 5 or 6 years before. He rarely went anywhere or spoke to anyone in the tiny rural community. He was poor—apparently living on a pittance social security check. He had no car—rode a broken-down bicycle—never had any visitors. His routine was to walk to the post office once a month to pick up his social security check, stop by the mom & pop country store to buy a few bags of groceries then disappear into his crumbling house. Sometimes he would sit on the front porch watching cars pass and feeding squirrels and birds bits of white bread. Once in a while he’d be seen standing alone by a nearby stream watching the water trickle by.

He was found dead in his bed on New Year’s Day a few years ago after he failed to pick up his check. The gas station owner showed me an old Bible—it had been found on a table next to the man’s bed. It was open to the last page of Matthew where the last sentence in the Gospel (a statement by Jesus) was underlined which reads, “And be assured, I am with you always, to the end of time.”

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2 Responses to “Faded Glory”

  1. Bob Says:

    Wow – this one really struck a nerve. I could feel the desperation and angst that I believe the entire nation is experiencing. Awesome picture, beautiful metaphor and the old man again what a metaphor! This is definitely your best work in my opinion.

    Looking forward to seeing more.

  2. orion Says:

    Thanks Bob–I’m enjoying the challange of posting good stuff–every day if posible. Tell others about the site.

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