I will be the first to tell you that every single stereotypical thing you’ve ever heard about people in the country driving around aimlessly for fun is true. I love driving; it’s small-town americas pastime.
I grew up in a large family full of men who love cars. Almost every single story my father, or one of his six brothers, has ever told, in someway involves a vehicle (even if that’s not actually what the stories about). They can all tell you the make, model and year of every car they have ever owned, and with such a large amount, that’s actually incredibly impressive.
One of my fathers earliest memories is sitting in the front seat of some sort of chevy (he could give you the specifics) as a five year old with his little brother to his right. One of them kicked the gearshift out of park and they began rolling downhill. My father says he vividly remembers reaching out in front of him and ripping the keys from the ignition, thinking it would stop their downward decent. It didn’t, and they ran into a mailbox.
Being an only child, and a daddys’ girl, meant spending countless hours in the garage, at the junkyard and on the road. It was my job to Armor All all of the tires before and at car shows and whenever those skills weren’t needed, I spent my spare time putting zip ties on everything. To this day there are zip ties on every single one of our wrenches and a few of our screwdrivers.
I didn’t intend to make a series of images while riding shotgun (and admittedly while driving) down back country roads and on highways, but while going through all of my film today, I realized that I did. They all came from moments of contentment, driving along on beautiful days, no sound but the engine, no smell but exhaust.
The most beautiful thing about these photographs is the lack of control exhibited while making them. There was absolutely no say in composition (how could there be?) and no way to focus. Most of the time I wasn’t even looking through the viewfinder, just sticking my camera out of the window and hoping for the best.
And so here they are, all the images from July to now, taken with my head poking out of car windows not all that differently from our dog.