Things Change

After making fun of his mom (like kids in 6th grade do) he stood up, pushed me, and we both ended up in the principal’s office. That summer Joey Harless stole his dad’s car, wrecked it, and killed himself with his dad’s gun.

My sophomore year of high school Molly Gibson dug her fingers into my arm after she found me looking at the brush she’d left outside the pool locker room. Driving home one night our senior year she was hit by another car and died.

On August 11th, 2011, I took this picture of my daughter Magdalena in front of the Hardee’s in Tipton that had been there 20 years:


A month later, it was torn down and a Casey’s General Store was being built there. This is what it looked like in December of 2011 (with Carmina and Samuel):


That same day (August 11, 2011) I took this picture of a window in a home in Tipton:


By April 21, 2012 it looked like this:


On January 7th, 2012, I took this picture of my son, Samuel in front of a building at the corner of Main and Dearborn in Tipton, IN:


The next month (February) the building was demolished:


In the summer of 2012 I walked through some woods behind Starbucks on Old Meridian in Carmel by Meijer:


The next time I drive by, bulldozers have tore everything down to bare ground and they were putting in a new apartment complex.

One night when I was running the paper route in 2010 I took a picture of an old farm house in the middle of a corn field. The next morning (around 3 AM) a semi-tractor trailer had wrecked right in front of the old house – police cars were everywhere.

Last fall (2013) I was driving on 96th Street in Indianapolis across from HH Gregg headquarters and thought, “I should take a picture of that scenic, tree covered drive,” but I didn’t stop. The next time I drove by, the trees had been bulldozed to put in a parking lot.

I learned from my mistake. When I saw this house along US 31 in Westfield I pulled over and took this picture.


The next time I drove by it was gone.

I walk on a strip of grass in Greenfield, Indiana for the first time, the next month they pave over it with a brand new sidewalk. I update a customer’s website copyright date as a courtesy, only to find out hours later they are closing their business. I think of a coworker I haven’t thought of in a while and email my boss about him – he gets fired hours later.

None of these things are related. Things change. People die. Old buildings get torn down. Businesses close and people get fired. That’s life. Sometimes you’re there to document it one last time before it goes. Sometimes you get to have a visceral interaction with someone before they go so you remember them longer. I still think about Joey and Molly sometimes.

I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ole’ days before you’ve actually left them.” -Andy Bernard


Being that Joey Harless died before the World Wide Web (<1993) and that he was a minor at the time, I couldn't find any information about him online, but you can donate to Molly Gibson's memorial, Pooh Bears for Molly. It still makes me sad to this day. Whenever I have a life event I think about Molly. At first it was the senior prom. Then it was graduation. Then it was going to college. Then getting married, graduating college, and having children. She is missed and still thought of. As the father of a daughter getting ready to be Joey’s age I can’t imagine losing her and I can’t imagine what it would be like for his parents – or Molly’s parents – and I hope I never have to find out. All we can do is love the people we’re with while we’re with them and pray for the best.