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SEEN: Elk, Texas, 2011

We had flown to Waco, Texas, for my wife’s sister’s wedding. The day before the big event, I was sitting around bored while the families visited. Since I had always wanted to see the site of the Branch Davidian compound east of Waco, I grabbed my nephew and headed out, knowing only the general direction in which it was located. Through the towns of Bellmead and then over to Axtell, and finally to the village of Elk, I made a number of images that afternoon, but this old store in Elk stood out to me. These structures represent a time when our culture had a more enduring, simpler, and slower pace of life. Most old buildings are obscure and transitory, not hidden, but are seldom noticed by the passerby. It’s out on these back roads, identified by William Least Heat-Moon in his book, Blue Highways, that I find the signs and symbols of man combine with the ever-present and ever-changing symbols of nature to reveal an enigmatic picture of life.

Photo: Frank Armstrong.

View more work by Frank Armstrong.