This photograph was shot in the back yard of my old farmhouse one night many years ago as my two brothers were loading up their guitars and amplifiers after an afternoon and evening of hard partying, hearty eating and loud, loud music. After my divorce, in which I bought my first guitar on the night of my fortieth birthday, Brian and Willie would come out every other weekend for a day and night of good times pickin’ and grinnin’. Willie wasn’t technically my brother, but an ex-brother-in-law. However, after playing alongside him all those many afternoons and evenings, I consider and refer to him as one. Sadly, Willie passed away two years ago after being electrocuted at work. He never sounded better the last time we jammed!
Every other weekend was party time down on the farm since they too, were divorced and had visitation with their kids every other weekend. This did not affect me as after my son moved back home with his mother, I never had visitation with my two children. Wesley lived with me for six months until his mother bought him three bicycles over a four-week period that Christmas, when she finally bought the expensive one he really wanted. Even though I wrote the Common Pleas Court judge who presided over my divorce three or four times begging for help in getting visitation with my kids, not once did I receive any response to my request. I guess the court system did not see any reason to legally enforce their own court appointed visitation schedule. Thinking back, I went more than five years in which I never saw my children. As a horrific example of how long I went without any visitation, several years ago, one Sunday afternoon a young man knocked on my door. He knew who I was but I did not know him. It took me several minutes to realize that this young man was my son. I am still haunted to this day by the thought of not recognizing my own child. I will never forgive my ex-wife for having stolen my two precious children from me.
Enough of my soapbox ranting…lets get back to the story behind this photograph. After getting a glance of this magnificent display of lightning off in the distance, I quickly went back inside to grab my camera and tripod and went back out and started shooting. If memory serves me right, I believe I shot a whole roll of film that night. This particular picture was the last shot on that roll of film. I must admit, however, that this very large bolt of lightning spooked me, as the farmhouse sat up on a small hill and I was standing out in the middle of the yard holding onto a metal camera sitting high up on a metal tripod. This particular bolt of lightning seemed to stretch from the horizon to well over my head.
This coming week, I will be posting several more photographs that were shot during this same storm.
Steven H. Spring