Patricia Temples Photography

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Archive for the category “REMEMBERING”

Fishing Memories

It’s Saturday, April 1.  April Fool’s Day to most of us, and opening day of Trout Fishing in Virginia to some of us.  That is, when I was a kid.  This day brings fond memories for me.  When I was about six years old, my dad started taking my brother and me along on his fishing expedition on “Opening Day.”  It didn’t result in much fishing for him, but we kids had a great time.  At home the preparations began with getting the gear together.  The fishing poles had to be reassembled after being put away for the winter.  My dad did all that and I watched.  One curious thing that he did was run the tip of a piece of the pole on the side of his nose, right in the crease near his cheek.  “Daddy, why did you do that?”  He told me that he was getting natural oils off his face to lubricate the part of the pole that slipped into the next piece.  I thought he was the smartest person alive.  After getting the poles ready, digging some worms, and packing our lunch we were ready.  Lunch consisted of cans of Vienna Sausages, Sardines, some crackers and, of course, Pepsi in bottles.   The best.

Off we went to the river bank.  We got set up, Dad helped us bait our hooks at first when we were young, but he quickly taught us how to do it ourselves.  I was never afraid of worms, and saw them as the means to an end…..eating trout!  The factory whistle blew at noon in our small town and everyone started fishing.  Fishermen and women were everywhere.  Sometimes our friends Bob and Mott Martin were with us.  Mott was one of those women who was ahead of her time.  At least I thought so then.  She wore waders and got in the water to do her fishing!!  I didn’t know women did those things and it made an impression that has lasted a lifetime.  She was also my seventh grade teacher for a brief time, but left mid-year to have her first child.  Anyway, here we were, throwing our lines in the water, snagging them on tree branches, losing the hook, tangling the line on every conceivable weed, and my dad was patiently helping us recover, get the line prepared and back in the water.  But, when we caught a fish….it was magic!!  Generally we managed to catch enough to have a meal.  To this day, trout are my favorite fish food.

Today at Graves Mountain Lodge in Madison County, VA they celebrate Heritage Day.  The streams are stocked with fairly large trout and only the kids are allowed to fish.  The look on those kids’ faces when they pull a ten-inch trout out of the water is very special.  There is no whistle denoting the time to start fishing, and they get started about 9am.  It’s a fun day, full of good food and fish.  Nothing can beat those Vienna Sausages, Sardines and Pepsi Colas,  but memories are being made.



Hoffman Weigh Station

I live in a rural area and pass many photogenic scenes every time I travel anywhere. This shed is along a secondary road that is on my regular path to many of my activities. I photographed it first on March 25, 2015, after a light dusting of snow made it even more interesting than it already was. I love the trees growing out of it, the turquoise colors on the wood.

Cow shed without cows

A month or so ago, I visited with my friend Joyce who lives on the farm across the road from the shed.  I asked her about it and got some wonderful history.  Her grandfather, Theodore Summerville Hoffman (1874-1963), owned the farm where she has resided off and on for much of her life, and as the owner for the last 36 years. At one time that shed was located on the farm. That parcel was sold several years ago and there is a power transfer station up the road from this shed, behind the trees.

“T.S.” Hoffman, as he was known, raised livestock on his farm.  He also bought livestock from others in the community for a purchaser who lived in Baltimore.  This little shed was the “Weigh Station” for the livestock.  When the cattle were going to be taken to market, they were weighed and measured there, then transferred to the town of Gordonsville, 20 miles away.  In the late 1930s, when my friend Joyce was a child, the cattle were driven by men on horseback to Gordonsville, and then they were put on a train to be taken to Baltimore.  She recalled that after a road was built in the late 1930’s, the livestock were loaded on trucks for transport.

Today I drove by the shed, as I have done many, many times before, and there were cows in the field.  I had to stop to get “the rest of the story.”

Cow shed with cows

Central Academy in Patrick County

I recently learned of a Facebook page called “Abandoned in Virginia” and with some excitement I went to the page and discovered wonderful images of days gone by.  I had a thought about a month ago that I needed to narrow my focus in my photography.  At least that’s what a lot of the pros say.  Find your passion and specialize.  I have never done that because I find too many subjects of a variety of themes that draw me in depending upon my mood, or even where I might be on a given day.  So, as I went to my photography catalog and began looking for shots showing abandonment, I began to feel rejuvenated about my photography.  A trip back to my hometown a few days later gave me perfect opportunities.  Here are a few images of a place I didn’t know existed in the county where I spent the first seventeen years of my life.  This is Central Academy, a school operated by the Presbyterian Church from 1910-1932.  It was a boarding school with a main adminstration building, where classes were held, and  boys’ and girls’ dormitories.  It became a county elementary school until the mid-1950s and some of my friends recall their parents and siblings talking about attending school there. One friend reported that it must have been a good school because her parents studied Latin there, were on the debate team, and had told her the school had a marching band! Today it is a privately owned property. One dormitory has been restored and it is their residence.  The other is vacant.  The main building with classrooms burned in the late 1930s, and all that remains are four pillars under some huge pine trees. Thanks to my friends from the area for providing me with this information. Here are the photos from the property.

Academy Ivy Central Academy Dormitory Dormitory with pillars in background Pillars and Pine trees Grove of trees Remains of the admin building

This Old House

There is an old house on a hill that I have noticed for many years.  It’s across from a golf course where I played for twenty-five years, and I marveled at the view those folks must have had.  At the time it was still inhabited, but the elderly lady who lived there died a year or so ago.  I was fortunate enough to know the owner of the property and was allowed to go there for a photography excursion.  Despite the disrepair, the character of the house and the land is marvelous.  It met all my expectations.  The property is for sale now, and the house will eventually be dismantled.  A conservation easement protects these sixty acres from becoming a huge development with houses replacing the beautiful rolling land with mountains in the distance.  Some lucky owner will have the house of their dreams on the property of their dreams.

Door View to the West Basketball Goal The House from the Rear Inside staircase Shuttered Window Turquoise Room View from an Upstairs Window View to the South

Floyd Virginia

One of the things I truly enjoy about photography is the opportunity to learn something new.  Last week I attended a workshop on Color in the little town of Floyd, VA.  Floyd is about 25 miles north of my hometown and is a small town I have known for years.  My family used to purchase vehicles at the Turman-Yeatts Dodge dealership there.  One Christmas Eve my father decided to take the family through Floyd on the way to my grandmother’s home in Appomattox.  To my mother’s great horror, he bought a new car right on the spot.  They had to move all of the Christmas presents, including the ones Santa had planned to put out in Appomattox, to the new car without the children noticing.  They were successful.

But, I digress.  In my teen years, Floyd had a reputation for Friday night music jams at the country store.  Musicians met to play bluegrass, and townspeople took advantage of the opportunity to listen. That evolved over the years to a full-fledged music event every Friday night at the Floyd Country Store.  The store moves display cases and racks out of the way, puts up seating around a dance floor and charges a whopping $4 admission.  Out on the street, musicians gather in well-designed cubbies to jam as they did in the old days.  Even the Floyd Barbershop has musicians and an audience.

The workshop I attended was all about color.  Floyd was the perfect location, because in addition to musicians, the town is now a Mecca for artists, and many of the stores have colorful displays of fabric, paintings and other wonderful objects. One day our assignment was to choose a color and to shoot an essay about that color.  I chose RED.  On my quest to find red, I happened into the local Chocolate Shop, and when I opened the door I knew I had hit the jackpot.  The floors and walls were painted bright red, and many of the display items were also red.  What a find! And, of course, I bought chocolate.

These images are of the countryside outside of Floyd.  Rolling hills, barns, cows and fog greeted us at sunrise.  Put Floyd VA on your bucket list.  It’s a beautiful, friendly, and fun place to visit, and the Blue Ridge Parkway is very near for more exploration.Floyd 1 Floyd 5 Floyd 4 Floyd 3 Floyd 2


That’s what we called it in education when we had a day off from school due to snow.  There were always at least two exclamation points at the end of that phrase. I had thirty-one years in education as a professional, and another seventeen years as a student.  And I’ve now been retired 9 1/2 years!  But, I still feel the excitement of a “day off.” I awoke this morning eager to look out at the new-fallen snow that had been predicted to start after midnight last night.  Imagine how disgusted I felt when there was nothing happening!  But now, as I look out the door, it’s pouring down and I couldn’t be happier.

I like snow because it’s peaceful.  The quietness of it as it falls, the cover it provides to all the little blemishes on the land, the solitude of white everywhere calms and relaxes me.  I prefer deep snow because it makes everyone slow down.  Well, not everyone.  I feel sorry for the folks running snow plows, or having to make emergency calls to pull cars out of ditches or to deliver folks to the hospital …. because emergencies do not cease to occur.  But, for many of us, we stop our daily routines of working, shopping or just going, and get back to the basics of reading, talking to loved ones, or taking it easy.

When I was a kid living in a small town, all of us came out of our homes dressed in layers of clothes, and walked to “the hill” where we created a fantastic sledding track.  It ran behind about seven homes, wove in and out of small trees and ended at the bottom where it leveled out nicely.  Initially, we spent some time walking the track, patting down the snow with our boots to make it nice and slick.  Then, off we’d go for a thirty-second ride which required a five-minute walk back to the top.  We sledded all day.  I guess we must have gone in for lunch, but I don’t really remember that.  I just know that cold and hunger didn’t cross our minds.  We were there for the thrill and nothing else mattered.

When I hit my teen years, snow days called for different activity.  When I was thirteen my parents, mostly my mother, taught a bunch of us teens to play bridge. Four or eight or sometimes twelve kids would show up at my house mid-morning and we played bridge all day!  We ate, we laughed, we competed and we had a blast.  One of my friends, when he was an adult with grown kids, told my mother that any time it snowed he thought he should be at the Burton house playing bridge.

I just realized that not only do I love falling snow, I love the memories it brings forth. Have a wonderful SNOW DAY everyone!!  And, by the way, when you look at my images, don’t forget to look for the elephant!!

Parrott Farm Snow at Lamb Farm Our yard Greene Hills Elephant on South River Deer 2 Cardinals Big Meadows

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