Spiders and Crosses

by PammyMcB

DJ and I were off on another one of our adventures northward toward my homeland. DJ drove the trip to Haskell and on to Rochester before we headed back south on Texas Highway 6. Soon after we curved around the bend to the outskirts of Stamford, Texas on Highway 277, I saw something I had never seen before. Perhaps I had been too focused on the road or the company I keep and did not notice something that had long since been, or perhaps this site is fairly new and had been placed since my last visit homeward in 2010.

High above the ground stands a stationary spider. The long legged spider is made from pipe and car parts. The body is an Isetta, an Italian post World War II microcar manufactured first by Iso Autoveicoli, which has been painted a brilliant yellow color with black spots. The tiny body of the car has the spider looking like an ol’ Texas bathtub favorite of squealing little girls throughout the area, the Grandaddy Longleg. I know these humongous spiders that still haunt my dreams all too well, and yes, they are like most other things born and raised in Texas, bigger. I know from personal experience that these spiders living up north do not grow as big as they do here. Anyway, back to the sculpture. I can only guess that this spider must also be a Johnny Anders‘ creation, as the body parts being constructed of cars and other vehicles are a dead give away.

While photographing the sculpture in front of the old sewing factory that I frequented while my aunt stitched together different cloths and laces to make delicate lingerie, I glanced across the street and noticed a cross and what looked to be pickup truck beds jutting out from the earth across the scarcely traveled road. I crossed the path and photographed the following pictures:

This sculpture, also located in Stamford, Texas, is made of high dollar matching rims, steel beams, and pickup truck beds from Fords, Chevrolets, and a Dodge. The truck rims are fixed to the front of two cross beams welded together at by a steel plate at the cross member section, the base of which is buried deep within the red caliche covered ground. Also buried within the earth are multiple pickup truck beds circling the cross. This monument was also erected by Johnny Anders, who also happens to be the mayor of the small tight-knit town of my school rivals, cousins, and some of my closest friends. I am assuming that visitors to the monument are allowed to graffiti the monument, as with Cadillac Ranch. The colorful beds and towering cross are a nice offset to the otherwise harsh terrain.

Once I grabbed the shots of the monument, I took the opportunity to photograph my closest friend, my husband, DJ. I used a flash for the photo, as the overbearing sun provided many harsh shadows around his face. If you look closely, you will see that I, along with my flash, are reflected in the left lens of his shades. The flash helped the photo to be more crisp and clear than I have done in the past. I love the detail in his beard. I know, ‘No patting yourself on the back, Pam.’ However, I do believe that this self-taught novice is getting a hang of this photography thing.

DJ and I crossed the road back toward his truck and continued our trip back south to Abilene. We talked about different things and memories from my childhood, and I longed to provide him with the opportunity to share his. Maybe, someday, we will return to his hometown.

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