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Friday, March 29, 2013

Going Home

People go back home for many different reasons. I go back home several times a year for celebrations, high school reunions, and simply just to visit my family.  Since I’m in between jobs, I decided to go home for a few days recently. I very rarely get home by myself…usually my daughter and husband will join me when I make that drive up I-35.

While packing for my visit, I decided that I would take along my camera and practice my new hobby of photography. Usually my photo adventures are with my husband, Curtis, where I lean heavily on his newfound expertise; this time I would be choosing my own locations and shots.

I decided I was going to shoot historic downtown Shawnee. Downtown Shawnee is home to many interesting landmarks to take photos of…the mill, several theatres, an old train station, and a famous hotel. Growing up, Main Street was like any other small town Main Street, full of shops that we only visited once in awhile with our mom and dad when we were shopping for furniture or getting new shoes for Easter. The attractions that lured teens to our outdated Main St. was two of the town’s movie theatres: the Ritz and the Hornbeck.

These theatres, the Hornbeck in particular, are significant to me, since my first job was working the ticket booth in the Hornbeck theatre. The owners, the Jones family, took great pride in their historic theatres. It was a great job for a teenager; I got into the movies for free and could even bring in guests for free occasionally.

It was with a bit of nostalgia that I returned to Main Street later that evening in hopes of getting some great dusk photos. I started at the mill hoping to get a sunset shot. I then headed to 9th and Bell Street where I got shots of the historic Aldridge Hotel, Shawnee’s first “skyscraper.” I wasted a little more time just goofing off with my 2 sisters before setting up for a shot of the Hornbeck movie theatre.

I was disappointed to see that well after dusk, the marquee still wasn’t lit up. I boldly entered the theatre and asked for the lights to be turned on…I actually joked with the employees about how disappointed Mr. Jones would be about the lights not being turned on as soon as the sun set.

I went back out to set up for my shot, but was incredibly disappointed that only the marque lights had been turned on…what I really wanted a shot of was the neon “Hornbeck” sign. When I inquired about why the sign wasn’t lit, I was heart-broken to learn that the sign hadn’t been turned on in years because it was broken and was too expensive to fix.  

That got me to thinking about the many things in my life that I haven’t “fixed” because it would be too “expensive.” Expensive doesn’t always have to be about money. Sometimes things don’t get done because they aren’t important enough to put in the time or the effort to do them. Often times, however, even important things don’t get done because the effort is greater than the immediate reward.  Our society has trained us to desire immediate reward and when that doesn’t happen, we give up. Many would rather let some of things fall into neglect rather than to put in the hard work to gain momentum with or even maintain what was at one time very important to them.

What is it in your life that you’ve allow to fall into neglect because you think it's too "expensive" to fix?

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