This image dug from my archives is a favorite of mine…it’s from the analogue days of silver-based printing and subsequent hand-coloring. I was a big fan of the color purple, obviously. This image was the result of a road trip from Corpus Christi north on Hwy 77; a pretty rural highway that winds through many small Texas towns. I was by myself at the time, and on a mission. I was returning to the scene to capture this; having been to this very spot on a previous trip and shooting this same image – but the film somehow got scratched in processing and there was a huge line through the entire length of film. I know some of you remember those days! So, being enamored of the image, I was determined to go back and capture it again, hoping the darkroom gremlins would behave the second time around.
It’s actually the inside of the clock tower of the Lavaca County Courthouse in Halletsville. Subscribing to the “don’t ask, apologize afterwards” school of thought when trespassing, I simply removed the velvet rope blocking the stairs and proceeded to climb up the four (or was it five?) floors to the tower, whereupon I ascended an old metal spiral staircase up to the ancient clock. The horizontal pole you see attached to the center of the clock face ended inside that mysterious (purple) door; the tower being four-sided had four giant clock faces, each with one of these poles attached to the hands and running to the actual inner workings of the clock, which was housed in that central tiny room. The clock itself a magnificient amalgam of mechanical gears turning each of the poles which in turn moved the hands of the four clock faces.
Wow – did you get that picture? I’m willing to bet you could still make it up there unbeknownst to the people working in this still-functioning historic courthouse; just make sure you come back down before quitting time — but that’s a cautionary tale for another post! : )