Aging Gracefully: Old Churches #3

I realize now, as if it mattered, that a better title for this short series of church images would have been “Amazing Grace”, but it is what it is.

This shot, like yesterday’s, is not mine. Not exactly. I took it, but not with my camera. The camera was on short-term loan from Doug Thompson. He has probably forgotten, but I haven’t.

It must have been early spring, 2004–a few months before I got my own camera–my first DSLR, the Nikon D70–capable of providing images suitable for publication. The assignment: to provide pictures of the gravestones and the church attended once upon a time by the Mabrys that the Parkway mill is named after.

The destination for the images: Blue Ridge Country Magazine, and a piece by Elizabeth Hunter on the history of the mill and the folks who operated it back when. An interview with a Meadows old-timer got a sidebar piece to the main article.

My little 2 megapixel Nikon Coolpix 925 was not up to the task. The deadline loomed. I set off with Doug’s DSLR to get the shots we needed and get them in to BRCM before deadline. This image of the church window was one of them, taken at the Concord Primitive Baptist Church, near Meadows of Dan, Virginia. This is where the Mabrys went to church, probably walking from their home a mile or so away.

I like the lines of this image–like the congregation, manifesting the horizontal lines of life on earth, and the vertical hope of things above.

About

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

1 Comment on “Aging Gracefully: Old Churches #3

  1. Your reminder sent me rummaging through the stack of BRCMs behind me on the bookcase to find that July-Aug 2004 issue.

    Absolutely nothing is better than visiting the mountains (even vicariously) when the heat index is over 100…

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