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You Can Go Home Again

January 21, 2013
Where I grew up.

Home, Taunton, Massachusetts, 2013

For over twenty years I have been concentrating on photography projects outside of the United States. A week ago I returned to my hometown of Taunton, Massachusetts to see what had changed since I left there to go to college in 1967.

Roseland Ballroom

The dance hall in my old backyard. I remember when Ray Charles played there in the early 60s.

The Roseland Ballroom was on the second floor. The first floor was a bowling alley where I would hang-out almost every night of my high school years. Now, the first floor is a restaurant and the upstairs is a banquet hall. The parking lot abuts my old backyard.

Church

Winthrop Street Baptist Church, Taunton, MA, 2013

The last day I went to this church was the day I was baptized at age 13. I did not feel transformed as I was lifted out of the baptismal water. A year or so after, I began reading about Zen Buddhism and sitting in my  version of Zen meditation.

Bridal Shop

Shop on the corner, Taunton, MA, 2013

Downtown Taunton has changed immensely since I left. I didn’t remember this building on the corner of Winthrop and Cohannet Streets. I also didn’t get a chance to look for the soda shop on Cohannet where I got my first job as a soda jerk.

Downtown Taunton

View from the Taunton Green, 2013

Taunton Green

Taunton Green, 2013

The Taunton Green is my standard reference size for an acre of land. I don’t know if it really is an acre, it’s just something my mother told me.

Taunton dump

The old landfill of the town dump.

The landfill portion of the Taunton dump has become a methane field.

The Catholic Cemetery

Cemetery Road, Taunton, 2013

Across the street from the methane field and the town dump is the stretch of road where teenagers with cars would go parking (AKA “necking”) in the 50s and 60s. Maybe they still do.

Methane Field, Taunton, MA, 2013

Methane Field, Taunton, MA, 2013

I’ll close with another picture from the town dump. My family moved out of Taunton when I went off to the University of Massachusetts. They moved to Cape Cod. I hope to add some pictures from the Cape soon.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter Kitchell permalink
    January 22, 2013 10:26 am

    Frank, I like the common use of that evening light when inside and outside match. Hard to make some of the places look good, but maybe you succeeded. 1967, I was living in the Haight Ashbury.

  2. January 22, 2013 1:40 pm

    Thanks for your note Peter. I did hang out in Washington Square, NYC in summer of 1967, just after I left Taunton. I didn’t make it to Haight Ashbury until 1968. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a camera until 1969. Were you photographing back then?

  3. Sarah Holbrook permalink
    January 31, 2013 5:59 pm

    Frank, the late light, lights-on has the seductive magic, the romance but when you pair it with the all American funky Taunton, it’s like red wine and chocolate!!! But what I really like is the inclusion of the pavement and the linear, especially in Shop on the corner and view from the TG. And then there’s the mirroring of the tree form in the pavement lines in Cemetery Road. That’s nice!

  4. Kristen Miller- Deslauriers permalink
    February 3, 2013 7:27 am

    Frank, I have always admired your ability to capture such perfect lighting and as a student of yours, I hope to have developed a tenth of this ability. Yes, the colors & lighting are just beautiful. Particularly the church and Downtown, Taunton. The composition of statue against clouds is stunning. The lines of the old landfill center and draw the viewer into forward movement, signifying life’s continual progression and the changes you stumbled upon. Simply wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

    • February 3, 2013 8:57 am

      Kristen, You’ve inspired me to post the pictures I made on Cape Cod the morning after these pictures. Thanks, Frank

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