Stories. That’s why we do the things we do. For the stories we could tell. At least that’s what the man who never celebrates his birthday says. Jimmy Buffett, the well known singer of song was born on Christmas Day. He’s 76, or maybe not depending on what kind of mood he is in. He says we do things for the stories we could tell.
That’s not the point of this post.
The point is about this picture that I made at the turn of the Twentieth Century in 1908. That’s what I said. 1908. Not really, but it sure looks like I did. I made it in Ohio in 1982 while I was studying at Ohio University, in Athens.
One of our assignments was called immersion. There was one of two ways this could go. About a billion student photographers could descend on a small town and document it from head to toe over a short period of time. The other way was for one photographer to work in one town for an assigned period of time.
I chose the later.
I went to Archbold, Ohio. To Geno’s Pizza. Geno’s isn’t there anymore because they moved to be near their largest client in Bentonville, Arkansas. You know the one.
They were replaced by FSI in Ohio, who also makes pizza. They are different because you’ve never seen a pizza with their name on it. The make it for institutions like colleges and hospitals. They also make pizza for regional stores like Krogers with their branding.
That’s the corporate story. A story which isn’t very interesting.
The story of the town and factory is much more interesting. For instance, about once a month, the plant and town shuts down so that pizza dough could be flushed from the city’s pipes.
Or, that pizza making is a 24 hour a day operation. The guys in the picture are drinking breakfast after they got off at 6am.
The picture is interesting to me because I completely and totally blew the flash exposure. The picture looks like something from the old days. The real old days. Especially the guy in the front. He’s holding his beer like he’s daring me to take it away from him.
I got to know them after a few days. They were blue collar guys relaxing with their buddies after a long day of pizza making.
One more thing. As you might guess, they never eat pizza.
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