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Susan Sontag gave me an idea. In her provocative book, "On Photography" she writes that some photographers and collectors consider that the world is well on its way to becoming one vast quarry, and that we are in the pious work of salvage.
"Hmmmm...." I thought. "Let me go see if I can salvage something that soon won't be anyplace but in an image. And let me see if i can do an image that excavates some juicy fragment of a past that's just outside of the memories of most of us." That's when I saw this ghost up there on that wall. How long since John Henry Mills stopped selling drugs and Coca Cola? And how long until the morning sun finally sucks the last memory of John Henry Mills from those bricks?
Sontag is right, I think. If we really look we can show a new beauty in what is vanishing. And in not too long, this image may be the only record that John Henry Mills ever sold drugs and coke. It's a new thing and an old one simultaneously quarried out of a small piece of the fading world. Cool.
If you'd like to study it, here's the original high up above West Orange street in Lancaster's center city.