Sunday a couple of weeks ago, I went to a Fine Art showcase that was hosted by Gretchen Birdwell in her studio and gallery located in Old Town Helena, Alabama.
Featured were several local photographers. While all were wonderful, I was really captured by the work of Butch Oglesby. I love pictures that have a story, especially ones that are historical. Butch told me how he had been allowed to photograph the old Thomas Jefferson Hotel in Birmingham. The 350-room hotel and 19-story building was built in 1929. The Thomas Jefferson was a prime spot for visiting celebrities, U.S Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover, other included Mickey Rooney, Ethel Merman, and singer Ray Charles. During the 70’s the hotel became known as the Cabana, and a special suite was reserved for Bear Bryant during his games at Legion Field. One of my favorite photographs was of this old suite with a ghost image of Bryant standing in the doorway. This hotel is vacant now and has sat unused for years, but has recently been purchased to be renovated into lofts.
When I left the gallery, I had planned to take a few photographs during the afternoon before the storms that were being expected moved in and spoil any opportunity. However, as I headed for my car it began to rain.
Karen Carpenter sang about rainy days and Mondays, and how they seemed to always get her down, well not me. Since the weather wasn’t threatening yet, I crossed the bridge and stop at the Buck Creek Park, and spend a little time photographing these images in the rain.
The following video at the end of the page was taken by Kevin Henderson. You will also want to take special notice of this bridge.
Later during the night, the heavy rain that was headed our way would cause flooding that would cover the dam pictured above.
The photographs pictured were taken under that lake you’ll see.