While I've spent the last eight years doing this project in earnest, I can trace its origin back to the late 1970s. I worked for a chimney sweep named Jim Williams. He owned an old Victorian house in the Twickenham district of Huntsville. The walls of his classic old home were adorned with dozens of black and white photographs from 40 and 50 years prior. I was fascinated by them. To see life frozen in time. A mere fraction of a second from an earlier time captured for all eternity. I realized how much I enjoyed seeing photos from the past.
While I could not go back in time and recreate the photos, I could still find the remnants of what was. One day all these things will be gone and I felt it an obligation to find and document them the best way I knew how. Through pictures.
Fast forward to 2007. I was on my way to Auburn from Birmingham for my job at WVTM-TV. I noticed a classic 1957 Chevy Bel Air along the side of US 280. I stopped to look at it and came to discover it was part of a rather extensive junk yard of rusting relics. Row upon row of classic iron dating back to 1920s. Much to my chagrin, I did not have a camera with me that day. I never traveled without one again. Since I spent a great deal of time on the road, I began to notice these collapsing reminders of Alabama's past everywhere. I got a better camera in 2012 and began to seriously pursue these vanishing remnants. During the summer of 2013 I sat down at my computer and mapped the entire state. I broke it up into sixteen manageable sections and began going through those sections one by one. Every time I would find something I thought worthy, I would mark it on the map. What was a handful of locations grew to about 2000. The plan was set and the wheels put literally in motion. Eventually I managed to make it to all 67 counties, logged 25,000 miles and took about 10,000 photographs.
This book, one of what I hope will be many, is the culmination of this journey.