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She Delivers

June 26, 2013


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Our Riverside neighborhood is a great place for walking. And since a once-a-day walk is my primary form of exercise, that makes it perfect. But, I’m a walker who’s not only walking for his health (though I definitely am), I’m also walking to see things … other people’s things. Which is why I met Susan. I’d targeted whoever lived in her house as someone I would get to know; from the sidewalk there was just such an amazing collection of rocks, succulents, driftwood, glass — interesting things — in her front yard. Opportunity finally arrived at a block sale, when, after checking out the stuff she was selling out front, I tiptoed down the driveway to see what was in her backyard. Jebus Crispies!, it was even better than the front. I struck up a conversation and found a kindred junk collector spirit …  Like most dedicated collectors Susan remembered every detail about each find and I loved hearing her tales of the hunt. We became friends and soon I was invited to rummage through her amazing collections, first out- then inside her home. Over time I bought some really cool things from Susan … and been shot down on others; she won’t part with everything I want. It’s frustrating but I don’t hold it against her, after all she did all the traveling and scratching and digging for them. She must’ve detected my frustration because one day recently she brought over several boxes filled with prime finds she wouldn’t sell. Mode of transport? A little red wagon … guarded on-board by her toddler granddaughter (in glamour girl sunglasses). She rolled them over to my house so I could photograph them — for rent. I thought it was a great idea and agreed to come up with a photo treatment for these prized artifacts. Best part? I could keep them as long as I needed, return them and never have to find a place to store them, except in my computer.

This post is made up of some of  Susan’s faves, natural oddities, sticks-and-stones she’s found that remind her of other things — animals, people, characters. Some are easily discerned, some more esoteric. Take the photo above: I see a pterodactyl, a great dane in profile, a bat, a bird, a wizened ol’ guru and a winking homunculus. You might see something else entirely, but that’s the fun of it.

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Let’s look at more …


Here, driftwood fragments imitate a parrot with a mean swim stroke, and a stand-offish one-eyed cow.

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A collection of stones impersonate seashells, bones, ectoplasmic emanations, a petrified hoof and modern abstract drawings.


This is my favorite lookalike from Susan’s collections: A natural stone formation that reminds me of paleolithic fertility symbol, the Woman — formerly Venus — of Willendorf (click here). Endowed with a similarly voluptuous figure as the more-famous Woman, this piece could pass as a long-lost cousin … and she really feels cool in one’s hand!

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Lastly, a collection of wood fragments without assigned identities … what do you see?

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When I returned these sticks’n’stones to Susan she showed me more — lots more — that I can rent for further photo sessions. Thing is I get overwhelmed by the sheer number of objects and the problem of lighting and shooting them at their best … I mean, if you saw the rinky-dink, Rube Goldberg-ian lengths I go through to take pictures for this blog, you’d laugh. So, I’ll take a break and check in with her again soon. I can’t resist seeing her collections; there’s always something new. And when she makes that next delivery I’ll share them with you, too!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Victoria permalink
    June 26, 2013 5:25 am

    I’m so glad to see I’m not the only one who picks up seemingly random bits and bobs just for the sheer love and interest of it. Is there only one person like that per family?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 26, 2013 5:26 am

      I’ve actually got a couple in mine! Thanks for commenting, Victoria

  2. June 26, 2013 6:59 am

    Love your use of frames in the photos! Very nice.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 26, 2013 3:29 pm

      Thanks, Lori … I thought it would be a good way to corral all the disparate elements.

  3. June 26, 2013 8:29 am

    wow … I just get two old frames to frame my head driftwood! but now, others before me have done it! …………j’aime

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 26, 2013 3:30 pm

      Merci beaucoup, Willow!

  4. July 1, 2013 5:16 pm

    I love what you’ve done with the driftwood and rocks. Especially the fertility symbol of woman. How cool!!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      July 1, 2013 5:21 pm

      Thanks, Val, it was fun putting this post together! 😉

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