Picture of the day - December 10, 2008
"Return to the old homeplace"
|Photo courtesy of Phyllis Helton.
They say "You can't go home again", and in many ways that's
true. Times past are just that, little more than memories of our
childhood years tucked safely away in the inner recesses of our
minds. In times of reflection, joy and sorry, we can call upon those
old memories to sooth our souls and take us back to a simpler time,
but like it or not those times are in the past and gone forever.
But sometimes it is indeed possible to "go home again" and
see some of those old memories spring back to life - if only for a
little while. Our good friend Phyllis Helton of Bristol, Virginia
recently had a chance to return to her old homeplace, and she came
away from it a short while later with several pictures, and no doubt
dozens of precious memories that she had long ago lost track of.
During her visit Phyllis found the spring from which her family had
drawn their water so many years ago, now partially hidden by decades
of overgrowth but still pouring out gallon after gallon of cool,
refreshing water nonetheless. The old barn where they hung their
tobacco and in which she often played was still standing, as was the
little house her family called home. Of course those structures are
showing the effects of decades of neglect and exposure to the
elements, but standing they were when she and her brother drove the
mile or so up
the "holler" and got out to take a look around.
In all likelihood that was the one and only visit Phyllis will ever
make to her old homeplace that's located just down the road from
Abingdon, Virginia's historic
Whites Mill, but it was a visit she
will always remember because of the memories it pulled from their
hiding places way back in the far corners of her mind. I thank the
good Lord for those rare opportunities when we can indeed "go
Name: Tara Collins
Town: Blacksburg, VA
I just love this picture! It reminds me of the times when we used to
visit my grandparents up in their "holler" in Lee County, Virginia
when I was a little girl. I'm a grad student at Virginia tech now so
I've been away from "home" for a few years, but I'm from a little
town called Gate City which isn't very far from Bristol. One day I
plan to return to that Lee County "homeplace" and hopefully bring
back a few memories of my own. Mrs. Helton, thank you so much for
this extremely inspiring photograph and the very interesting story
that goes along with it!
Name: Anthony Tolliver
Town: Albany, NY
This isn't one of better photos I've seen on this site from a
"technical" standpoint, but it is one of the best images you have
ever published because of its meaning to Mrs. Helton. Pictures don't
always have to be "perfect" in order to be outstanding - and this
one is outstanding.
Name: Amanda Littlejohn
Town: Sioux Falls, SD
What a wonderful way to start my day! The first thing I do when I
get up each morning is check out the Picture of the Day, and this
one just made my day!
Name: Cheria Rouse
Town: Abingdon, VA
Memories and visits back to the "good ole days" sure do a lot for
our hearts. Thanks Phyllis for sharing with us some of your
"precious memories". I also recently visited an old house that I
lived in as a child and enjoyed every memory.
Name: Rebecca Johnson
Town: Washington State
Lovely nostalgic capture - beautiful scene.
Name: Phyllis Helton
Town: Bristol, VA
Thanks for publishing a bit of my heart. And I thank all of the
people who made such kind comments.
Name: Rick Rouse
Town: Abingdon, VA
It was my pleasure and a great privilege to publish your photograph
and relay your story to the world Phyllis. My goal for
TodaysPhoto.org is not simply to publish pictures that are "great
photographs" from a technical perspective, but to also share
snapshots that reflect the essence of our lives with the world.
As Mr. Tolliver said above, photographs don't have to be technically
perfect to be outstanding images - it is often the meaning and
symbolism behind an image that makes it great. And this one is
indeed great in my opinion. Thank YOU for allowing me to share it -
and the interesting story behind it - with our friends and neighbors
all around the world.
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