I drive by this memorial shrine frequently on my daily commute and other side trips that I need to be on the 241 tollroad, thus I have continued to watch this memorial evolve. I had made my image of this memorial last Spring for my series Bad Trip – Sad Trip and although not published in the print edition of LensWork #74, it is posted on my web site.
I know that this memorial is being tended to, as I have notice infrequent changes, such as some changes during Thanksgiving holidays at the end of November. But I have never seen anyone stopping to look at this memorial until yesterday. Granted, this memorial, like many others, is located on the edge of a busy Expressway and it does not have any direct path to get here. Thus, to stop here is not convienant, but also a risk, thus not ‘viewer friendly’.
So seeing ahead a car parked on the side of the road at this memorial immediately had my attention, even being dusk and not the easiest thing to see. As I quickly approached on the tollroad, I saw the distintive flash from a small camera as someone was taking a picture of it. hmmmmm
Although Lenswork #74 is now on the magazine racks at Barnes & Noble and probably other book stores, perhaps we will see more photos about Road Side Memorials. It will be interesting to see how others interput these within the landscape and our social fabric.
My questions as to why these memorials remain, why are they sustained, what is the long term emotional need for these memorials is still unanswered. Why have a memorial at the site of the accident and not in a graveyard where the body is interned? Is this a reaction to a trend in cremeations, where there is no final resting place. Difficult subject and very emotional on every account. So perhaps my interest in this series remains.
Best regards, Doug