Photo Walks

March 7, 2011 § 5 Comments

I’ve missed you!

The last week has been a whirlwind and the weekend wasn’t any more relaxing (but it was great)! I took the camera out for its very first spin and boy do we have a lot to get to know about each other!

The camera: GE X5 with 15x wide optical zoom. For a little bridge camera this baby has a lot to offer – now I just have to figure out how to use it all. (And it looks like a tripod may be in my purchasing future pretty soon too.)

It’s amazing to be behind the lens again. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I started taking those shots – it’s second nature for me. I feel so alive when I’m behind the camera capturing moments to add to the scrapbook of life. (Insert corny sigh.)

I love it so much that I’ve decided to start my own Photography business. Finally. I’m chasing that dream and who knows where it’s going to take me!

I will tell you, however, where my weekend took me…

On Saturday I went for a photo walk in a lovely but sad town called Kannapolis (Cannon Village, more specifically) here in North Carolina. The history of the town is both hopeful and heart-wrenching.

A Brief History

James Cannon founded the Cannon Mills back in 1888 and produced “Cannon Towels” which were the first towels made in the south. Jim Cannon was more than a businessman, though. He hired on 840 people to start with in his first Kannapolis mill and bought out land to build them homes, a YMCA and financially supported businesses, churches and schools in the area. He was also the first businessman to ever arrange a life insurance policy for all of his workers.

In a time of economic turmoil, strikes and war the mills held its ground. In 1982 the mills were purchased by David Murdock who also proposed a redevelopment for the town and restored it to become the Cannon Village area it is today. In 1984 the town of Kannapolis was officially incorporated and became the City of Kannapolis. The next year the company was bought by Fieldcrest Mills. It then became the Fieldcrest-Cannon Corporation. After the purchase was completed there were many union problems and the downturn began.

In 1997 the Fieldcrest-Cannon Corporation was sold to Pillowtex. Sales began to slip and the company started losing money. Their biggest buyer, Wal-mart, advised them to move production overseas but the company refused, was undercut by its competitors and stopped supplying Wal-mart.

This is not my image.

Three years later, in November 2000, Pillowtex filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy protection. In May 2002, Pillowtex briefly surfaced from bankruptcy for little more than a year, but things kept sliding.

On July 30, 2003, Pillowtex Corporation announced the complete bankruptcy of the company. Over the night of July Thirtieth 7,650 people became unemployed (4,340 in Kannapolis alone). This was the largest permanent layoff in the history of the State of North Carolina.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon_Mills

As you walk through Cannon Village there is a whisper of history. The area has been redesigned, yes. The new Research Center is there now and there are shops that line the streets. However there is a sadness that seems to sit over the town.

The small mill houses, mostly broken down and in need of TLC, are a reminder of what the city once was.

My walk through the town was filled with some great questions – do you know the history of where you live and the surrounding areas? I didn’t, at least not in-depth. When I looked it up I gleamed insight into a very sad story but one that also shines on the history and rise of business and independence. The historic signs around town are a reminder – and maybe they aren’t loud enough.

On a different note while I was in town taking photos of the historic Gem Theatre I was pleasantly surprised to find two young cowboys taking a stroll.

Their names were Patrick and Nick, if memory recalls, and they were from the area. Both 18, dressed to the nines in cowboy gear and were inquisitive about my photography. They approached me to take a few photos of them and I obliged, glad to have a willing subject. They told me that they had been friends since childhood, went to school together, were in the ROTC and were not putting on a show in their outfits but honestly believed in the ways of the cowboy. This was a normal day, normal wear and a normal attitude and a reminder to me that life in the south is abundantly different from the north.

It was a good Saturday to say the least.

Sunday was a rainy day and I was a bit discouraged in the morning because I’d hoped for sunny weather and another photo walk. However, after a bit of prodding, I got NPC in the car and he chauffeured me around town to take a photo drive. We got a few good shots in the cemetery, downtown and the memorial garden.

I look forward to spending more time out and about showing you where we live.

The pictures are available for your viewing pleasure at my temporary website {(and also the official launching of my new company Tilted Bliss Photography)}.  www.wix.com/klmackie/photography

It’s that time of day – work is calling! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I look forward to our next conversation! Have a great day!

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