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Monday, 27 September 2010

Russell Lee: Riches (Along the Million Dollar Highway)


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File:Million Dollar Highway Ouray County, CO 1a34176u original.jpg

Rocks and stream along the Million Dollar Highway, Ouray County, Colorado
: photo by Russell Lee, October 1940

The golden silence rained


photo

Farmland in the vicinity of Mt. Sneffels, Ouray County, Colorado: photo by Russell Lee, October 1940

The world less ugly, the people less sad


photo

Hay stack and automobiles of peach pickers, Delta County, Colorado: photo by Russell Lee, October 1940

A harvest ascending to the sky


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Llano de San Juan, New Mexico, Catholic church: photo by Russell Lee, July or October 1940

Movement of clouds, the beautiful day


photo

Stand of virgin ponderosa pine, Malheur National Forest, Grant County, Oregon: photo by Russell Lee, July 1942

Swept through us there, waiting


photo

Horse breeding ranch, Grant County, Oregon: photo by Russell Lee, July 1942

In the world where we walked where we walked, saw what we saw


photo

Bands of sheep on the Gravelly Range at the foot of Black Butte, Madison County, Montana: photo by Russell Lee, August 1942

A world of the infinitely small


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Farmland, cherry orchards and irrigation ditch at Emmett, Idaho
: photo by Russell Lee, July 1941


The fullness disguised as bareness, remembering


photo

First snow of the season in the foothills of the Little Belt Mountains, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Meagher County, Montana: photo by Russell Lee, August 1942

Junipers shagged with ice


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First snow of the season in the foothills of the Little Belt Mountains, Lewis and Clark National Forest, Meagher County, Montana: photo by Russell Lee, August 1942

Awaiting the sapphire point of a tomorrow


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View of Mount Shasta, California: photo by Russell Lee, June 1942


Photos by Russell Lee from Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress

6 comments:

aditya said...

From here to here.

Exquisite post Tom !
Wonderful wonderful lines.


golden silence rained less ugly the people less sad harvest ascending to the sky movement of clouds

And the way you ended as the way you ended-


Junipers shagged with ice

Awaiting the sapphire point of a tomorrow

I am reminded of Himachal Pradesh hills rains silence happiness as I sit here in the millennium city waiting ... for the unknown to happen.

Thank you for such a beautiful post Tom.

TC said...

Thank you, Aditya. Yes, that's the long arc, from the Valley of the Shadow of Death... to the Million Dollar Highway.

I salute you in the millennium city.


In an earlier series, Russell Lee follows the Million Dollar Highway to the Camp Bird Mine at Ouray...

(See bottom shot, "These were the riches of the earth...")

Only Here: Russell Lee in the West (1940-1942).

And for a previous historical view of the same excavation scene:

The Man of Ouray.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Yes, thanks, such beautiful stuff, Russell Lee out there seeing things in the "world less ugly," "people less sad" "awaiting the sapphire point of a tomorrow" . . . .


9.27

grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, waning white moon above branches
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

are equal to each other when
brought together, their

frequency, consequence which
is, at different places

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
wingspan of gull flapping toward point

curtisroberts said...

Taking a break from studying and worrying, I found this, the real payoff. Nothing to negate the lessons contained in the previous Lees, but this union of words and pictures is just magnificent. Thank you. "A harvest ascending to the sky"; "The fullness disguised as bareness, remembering".

Marcia said...

And yet another moving set of posts. Of course the Rosebud County triggered thoughts of home, as did the hay stacking (There was an art to that.), and bleak Texas. All as you say are from our history -- yet sadly they are contemporary.

I have At The Fair in my hand. What a fine book. I am taking my time, enjoying your poetry.

TC said...

Thank you, Marcia -- and also for providing the inspiration for that Texas high plains post.