Tattooed to the center of his chest was an "S," just like the original Superman logo.
I captured this photo in Nashville, 2014.
Tattooed to the center of his chest was an "S," just like the original Superman logo.
I captured this photo in Nashville, 2014.
I took this photo of a friend of mine a couple of years ago on what was once the stage at Starwood Amphitheater in Nashville. The outdoor concert venue was alive with sound and people not to far in the past.
More on Starwood:
(1985 to 2007) What was is no more: Starwood opened in 1985 to the sounds of Van Halen, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, and Motley Crew, just to name a few. Today, it looks like an epic ghost town of broken concrete, asphalt paths to nowhere, broken tiles that once lined the greenroom and overgrown grass.
Over the years, the concert venue changed names about three times. Up until 1999 it was called Starwood Amphitheater. The name changed in '99 to the First American Music Center. The First American name only lasted for one year. In 2000, it was renamed the AmSouth Amphitheater. It also closed with that name of "AmSouth" in 2007.
Be yourself, regardless of who others believe you should be.
Perhaps you're a dreamer? So dream.
Maybe you are a doer? Go and do.
Are you a fixer? Start fixing.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." —Dr. Seuss
The outside looking in: Face of Nashville… He looks just like the late Johnny Cash and he use to sit on Broadway and play older Cash songs like The Ring of Fire.
"The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet.
I fell for you like a child
Oh, but the fire went wild.
I fell into a burnin' ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire."
While some may not know it, the song “Ring of Fire” was written by June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore and recorded by Johnny Cash.
It was originally recorded by Junes sister Anita Carter for her “Folk Songs Old and New” album in 1963 and later that year mastered by Johnny Cash (March 25, 1963). It went on to become one of the biggest hits of Cash's career.
The song was basically about June falling in love with Johnny, which was indeed happening at the time when she wrote it.
Life on the outskirts: In Conyers, Georgia, a family lives on a small farm that looks like farms once looked to me in the movies. Quaint, with a cluttered front porch full of their treasurer's that others fail to value. This happened to be one such farm that I was able to capture.
Conyers, Georgia is near Covington, GA, where most episodes of the Dukes of Hazard were filmed many years ago. Sometimes those episodes would spill over into Conyers, which is only a stone's throw away.
Today, much of Covington and Conyers still look the same, when compared to that first episode of The Dukes of Hazard in 1979.
"There's trouble and then theres trouble and the trouble with some trouble is at first...it dont look like trouble." -Waylon Jennings
In 1959 four doctors founded the Old South Pittsburgh Hospital in the hills of South Pittsburgh, Tennessee. The medical facility met the surgery needs of the community and even had a small wing for mental patients.
Some report the hospital is haunted due to the many deaths that occurred in the block and concrete structure over the years. As with any medical facility, some of those deaths involved children, adults, car wreck victims, etc. Wrongful death suits were filed in several cases, but that was not believed the reason for the hospital closing their doors to patients in 1998.
Due to a brand new hospital opening in a nearby city, the Old South Pittsburgh Hospital could no longer stay in the black.
Prior to the hospital being constructed, the land that the facility sits on was once a large southern plantation. A fire in the 1920’s destroyed the plantation home which reportedly left 7 children dead, according to the Old South Pittsburgh Hospital Ghost Hunters.
Today, the former hospital has been labeled as one of the most haunted places in Tennessee. To answer your question, no… I did not feel as if it was haunted. But, maybe I refuse to think such a structure could be haunted and therefore failed to see what others have claimed to see.
This small building was built in 1967. It sits behind a shuttered Detroit Fire Station that still has a 1980’s model fire truck sitting in the rear parking lot.
The building, once covered in graffiti, was pressure washed and nicknamed “Dzale’s House of Faith.” That was over 10-years ago and I have no clue as to who Dzale is or where he might be? I can say for sure, he was not in his house of faith.
Today, it sits empty.
I took this photo in 2013. He was quietly sitting outside the Arcade in downtown Nashville listening to music on his radio only receiver. As I approached I noticed a man harassing him, however this homeless man sat in silence ignoring the other subject until he finally left leaving this young man sitting still.
"Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance." - Morgan Freeman
See video below: As I descended into the dark cave, partially climbing and sliding the rest of the way, I heard a loud roar of water in the distance. Once I found a firm footing and was able to fully stand, I asked my friend Jeff Paul if we were in any danger of the water rising as it was raining outside. He gave me a reassuring, “If the water was six inches higher in the cave, I would not have taken you in here.”Read More
“Staying warm,” he said as he laid on the cold Detroit concrete next to a manhole cover with steam pouring out. He would take his knit cap and hold it in the steam and then place it on his head. He followed this routine over and over again. Sweat was rolling down his forehead as he firmly placed the cap in place.
"Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief." - C. S. Lewis
Inside a vacant Detroit home. Empty. Poetic to some, romantic to others and just plain vacant to the surrounding world.
The 14 story Detroit Free Press building stands empty in downtown Detroit. It is the largest city newspaper owned by Gannett, the same company that owns The Tennessean and many more daily’s throughout the United States. The Detroit Free Press started about 184 years ago.
The paper left their large downtown structure in 1998 and moved into what they call their News Building. Gannett bought the paper in 2005 from Knight Ridder.
In 2008, they decided to cut distribution to homes and businesses to Thursday and Friday only. On other weekdays, the paper would continue to be sold on the newsstand, but it would be smaller than what Detroit residents grew up with.
In 2014 the paper moved to the former Federal Reserve building in Detroit where today they utilize about less than six floors. The operation is much smaller than their previous address of 321 West Lafayette Street where their original Art Deco building that was constructed in 1924 still stands today. Today, the once busy loading docks sit empty and bricked over.
The Packard Plant sprawls multiple city blocks in Detroit and measures in at 3.5 million square feet. The Packard Company opened the plant to build luxury automobiles in 1903. At the time, the plant was considered to be the most modern automotive manufacturing facility in the world.
Inside the multi-level structure, cars were moved from one floor to another thanks to massive elevators. Each floor included a large workforce to manually build different sections of the Packard automobiles. Most of the buildings are still completely intact thanks to the brand new application of steel-reinforced concrete in the early 1900’s.
The Packard cars manufactured in the plant were no stranger to new ideas or inventions. In fact, Packard was the first company to build a working 12-cylinder engine and to provide air conditioning in a passenger car.
Detroit resident Henry Bourne Joy bought an Ohio made Packard in 1900. He was so impressed by the car that he helped to bring the company to Detroit, thanks to a group of investors. On October 2, 1902, the Packard car, which was manufactured under the name Ohio Automobile Company, changed their name to the Packard Motor Car Company.
In the 1940’s, Packard switched from cars to the war production of airplane engines. The conversion proved to be extremely positive giving the company millions of dollars in reserve. However, bad management decisions and struggles with Ford, GM and Chrysler in the mid 1950’s destroyed the company.
Packard closed their doors for good in 1958. Other businesses rented the massive property from time to time for storage, but that completely ended for all but one of the buildings in the 1990’s. A company called “Chemical Processing” stayed in one of the many Packard structures until year 2010.
The Northville Psychiatric Hospital opened in 1952 in the Township of Northville, about 30-minutes from the City of Detroit. The massive structure was built on 453 wooded acres and had 20 buildings that included a movie theater, a swimming pool, gymnasium and even a bowling alley. It was once known as a premiere psychiatric hospital with top notch care that utilized art and music to aid in treatment.
By the 1970’s, budgets for such hospitals were drastically cut and Northville’s high standing in the medical world started to collapse. The number of patients soared from 650 to 1,000+. To make matters worse, the hospital was designed to hold only 650 beds, so the bowling alley and gymnasium looked like a shelter for storm victims by 1971 filled with cots.
As medical staff was cut, doctors ditched music and art related treatment for the mentally ill and focused only on medicine. The Detroit News reported in the early 1980’s that patients were found sleeping in hallways, rape and assaults were common and some patients even died while fighting with staff, other patients died from alleged medical malpractice, as seen in past lawsuits filed against Northville.
The facility eventually closed in the early 2000’s and has sat vacant ever since. Problems selling the property revolved around medical waste, arsenic, barium and lead being dumped on the once pristine 453 acres of land.
The hospital has been deemed as one of the most haunted places in Michigan by some.
“I found an old lamp and an ashtray today,” he told me while pushing a shopping cart down the street. “What will you do with them,” I asked. “I’m gonna’ take them home,” he told me.
In further talking to him, he told me that he lives with his mother on Hazelwood Street in Detroit. He said that he walks all over the city looking for interesting finds.
“How old are you,” I questioned with curiosity. “I’m 30 and my mom is 55,” he said. I didn’t question him as I believe he really thinks he is 30-years old.
“The dog that trots about finds a bone.” -Golda Mei
The New Glacier Missionary Baptist Church sits on a downtown street of Detroit, Michigan. The church has succumbed to urban decay as the city that once boasted over 1.8 million residents in 1950 is now at 680 thousand residents (2014).
In one month alone, 19 different crimes of a variety of levels were committed within a one mile radius of the church. The church is now unsafe to rebuild as the floor is falling in and a section of the roof is completely gone.
Prior to the church building being used by New Glacier Missionary Baptist, it was utilized by the Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, which bought the property in 1979. As St. Paul grew to over 1,000 members, a lack of space became an issue. So, the church sold in 1984 as St. Paul moved to a much larger space.
The building was eventually purchased by the members of New Glacier Missionary Baptist Church.
This photo was taken from the second floor balcony inside the church.
Documenting History: The building sits in a somewhat undeveloped area of Nashville, Tennessee. It was built in about 1913 and was used by the Tennessee Masons as a group home of sorts for widows and their children. The money to allow orphans and their mothers to stay in the property came from a fund that was developed in 1886. At one point the four story home and two other buildings on the campus had 400 residents that included widows, their children and the elderly.
In 1941, the State of Tennessee used the massive structure that looks like a mansion as a hospital to treat patients with tuberculosis. In the 1900’s, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the United Stated. It was known as The Great White Plague. Those who suffered were isolated from society in homes or hospitals like the one pictured. Structures like this one were known as “Waiting rooms for death.”
The building was later used as a health department office in the 1970’s through about 1994.
I handed him a pair of new boots and he jumped down on the ground and then rolled over onto his back. He then twisted his legs and feet outward and jumped back up. He announced, “I use to dance on Beale Street.” He told me he is 60-years old, but can still dance with the best.
He said, “They call me the Homeless Preacher,” he then started to preach. Boy did he ever preach. His voice began to change tunes as if he were growing mad. The louder he got the closer he came. As I started to photograph him he got within 7 or 8 inches of my camera lens, so I snapped away.
With a personality bigger than life you may wonder why he is homeless. He told me he has eight felonies and did time in prison. He has been a free man for almost a decade now, but boarded up houses throughout Memphis are his home. I would imagine that he sometimes preaches to a house of solitude that has no windows, only paneling where glass use to be.
I ran across the Homeless Preacher in a less desirable area of downtown Memphis filled with boarded up homes, industrial type buildings, title loan stores and businesses specializing in beer, tobacco and lottery tickets. His housing choices could vary nightly, depending on where he grows tired.
American songwriter Shawn Amos once stated about Memphis, “Memphis is the place where rock was born and Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed. It's full of contradictions, abject poverty, and riches that only music can provide.”
"I live in the mission," he told me with a pause. "I can't get a job because of a felony," he said after walking over to my truck.
When I first saw him, he was standing at the exit ramp of Sam Cooper Blvd. at North Highland Ave. in Memphis. He was holding a small cardboard sign asking for help. "I violated my probation and had to spend another 7-months in jail," he said with slow deep thought.
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
“What year is it,” he asked me. “2015,” I confidently responded. “The doctor told me I’d live to only year 2000,” he said with a smile and a flick of his cigarette. He then started praising God loudly as he stood under the small bus stop. “God is Good, God is Good,” he was almost singing the phrase as people pumping gas behind him stopped what they were doing to see what was going on.
“I go to church every Sunday,” pointing down the street. “My brother’s the preacher,” he said with a step forward and a tug of his left pant leg. I clicked the shutter and asked, “Why were you not going to make it past year 2000?” He got quiet for a second and then with an outburst, “AIDS, I didn’t use protection and it felt too good to stop.”
I have met so many people living with AIDS over the past three or four years and yet it is still quite misunderstood or looked at as a contagious infection. Former NBA great Magic Johnson once addressed the scare by stating, “You can't get AIDS from a hug or a handshake or a meal with a friend.”