Regarding the Harmony Grocery Store and Garage

January 20, 1984

  The first time I happened upon the small grouping of buildings at the corner of Timberline and Harmony Roads was in 1972. They immediately caused a reaction in my mind's eye and I knew that there would come a time when I would photograph them and their occupants, the McElravy family. It turned out that the family had close ties and considerable experiences with the store for more than forty years. The photography time was however not of rejoicing.

The auction was precipitated by the death of Mr. EcElravy in late 1982. Mrs. McElravy suffered a heart attack shortly after and required considerable hospitalization that created large medical bills. The auction and subsequent sale of the property helped offset those costs.

The day of the auction brought many family members together, some of whom can be found within the photographs. Several return trips were needed to complete the photo series. On one occasion Mrs. McElravy and her daughter, Mrs. Frye, were photographed together.

The series starts with the auction day and follows through whatever events occurred. The remaining photos were done with the hopes that the viewer might have questions and feelings about what happened. Like Atget's images of Paris, many views are almost as if the people had been asked to "... just step out of camera view for a moment."

The publication of this series in book form was planned but never came to fruition. Words were planned to accompany it as well, words that hopefully would have come from the family while viewing the series.

It is hoped that these words might still be forthcoming should the family members and neighbors view this site.


Back to Index