There’s something – a sort of magic – about old buildings, something that I have been attracted to since I was little. As a kid, I was usually warned away from them, told to beware of sharp nails, broken glass and potentially dangerous creepy crawlies anxious to bite me. Part of the attraction, I admit, was the risk. It was a thrill to know that something might be dangerous, and the idea that something more sinister than spiders could be lurking around just out of view.
But this building wasn’t notable for any fear it instilled, but for the memories. We are on a road trip back through my husband’s home state of Washington, and tonight we are in his old hometown of Yakima. His grandpa used to own and operate a butcher shop, and the building still stands just off of his property.
As my husband told me stories about how he would sit in the corner stamping packages of butchered meat, or playing basketball at the hoop just outside, I thought about how old buildings really are, in their own way, alive. Their smells, full of dust and age, are distinctive and full of personality. The faded or cracked paint that holds a luster that can’t be bought in a can or created with any sort of artistic technique. Scattered objects that lie under layers of dirt tell stories of those who once used them. Just as no two people are the same, buildings likewise hold their own uniqueness.
The following photos tell a story I heard today, in the words of my husband but also in the things I saw, smelled and sensed for myself.