Date: 2011-’14 Place: Llano Estacado, Great Plains Subjects: Agriculture, Cities and Towns
On US-I 27, Happy is a real place. It appears as a thin line of trees on an open plain. Grain elevators rise from its center beside the water tower. In town, I see brick streets and storefronts: some shuttered. Outside of its post office, newspapers sit for sale reporting daily life: agriculture, church and area sports.
Date: 2012-’15 Place: Permian Basin, Texas Subjects: Memory, Petroleum, Work
A truck moves over a desert landscape beyond a cattle guard and a fence of barbed wire. Its tires rumble over dry caliche flinging a plume of dust skyward. In the cab, a country tune fills the air, and a father concentrates on the road—his son draws pumpjacks in a sketchbook. Soon the two will reach a drill site to deliver a rotary bit.
Date: 2017 Place: Brazos Valley, Texas Subjects: Cities and Towns, Music, Railroads
Silver rails enter the downtown, and hotels wait beside Railroad Street. Navasota is a town in the Brazos Valley. It’s residential streets and brick buildings and open fields. However, when I close my eyes, I hear a key of G, 4/4 time and a train on the bridge.