It’s been a full year since I started my Hometown Series, so, once again, while I was back in my hometown for Thanksgiving I set out to make some images of locations I missed the first time around.
The two Thanksgiving outings are more of a documentation of key locations throughout town that were a large part of my childhood, places like school, church, the pool and other more “urban” locales. Over the summer I worked on the portion of my series that covered the day-to-day feel of growing up there. Trying to evoke the memory of the homes I lived in and where my sister and I played as children.
The images from the last couple of days bring me back to the city to capture some other vivid memories. The first stop was the Oakwood Cemetery. While this may seem strange, I remember visiting the cemetery often with my mother to pay respect to my great grandparents whom she was very close to. While I don’t remember them, I do remember how important they were to her, so there is a strong emotional attachment to Oakwood.
For Berlin being such a small town, Oakwood Cemetery is really beautiful. On the far end of the grounds is one of two quarry’s within the city. My dad used to take my sister and I there to climb the rocks. Thinking of this now, this sounds completely insane, but I loved this place—so peaceful and beautiful. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to the quarry this week, there used to be trails that led you right in but now it’s all overgrown with thorny brush. My next trip home I plan to gain access from some family friends land on the other side, I just ran out of time on this trip.
Last year I also took a few images of the Berlin Aquatic Center (BAC) but I was not happy with them so I set out to correct that. My very first year lifeguarding was also the year the BAC opened. It basically looks the same as it did then, just a bit more weathered. I probably spent close to 50 hours a week here every summer for 4 years, so you can imagine how many memories this place holds for me.
Shepard’s Drive-in was another location I photographed last year but was not happy with the final image, so here’s the improved take. And for those not in the know, Shepard’s Drive-in is a seasonal Tastee Freeze type of place, great cheese curds and ice cream and mini-golf when we were kids (sadly, it’s no longer there). Every locals summer staple.
Shepard’s greets you upon entering the southside of the city from Highway 49, a road I traveled on quite often as we used to live off of Hwy 49 for a few years. Even if you didn’t arrive in Berlin from this direction often I’d venture to guess this is one area that you remember well regardless. It’s the only route into Berlin with a bit of a birds eye view. There’s also something about the marshy land that surrounds the road just before entering town.
These last two images don’t have a specific memory other than the scenery is so typical of what I grew up with. The fiery glow on the trees in the School Forest from the setting sun and the silhouetted trees and fields of the countryside on my way to my parents home.