Pick A State


A Georgia Granddaughter Was On My Mind
by Rick Vanderpool

You know how sometimes a real pain in the backside can be a genuine blessing in disguise? This was one of those times…

With Texas and Oklahoma completed for our Stateart project, I was ready to turn my attention to looking for New Mexico and Arizona when my best old ex-friend – let’s see, I’ve got his name here somewhere – informed me that he was not going to be able to photograph Georgia, after all.

Egad, I thought (that’s all of my complete thought that I can share with total strangers and in mixed company), when am I going to have the time to crowd an extra few thousand miles, several days and 159 more counties into my schedule? While I was struggling on the horns of that enema, my daughter, Jennie, in Athens, Georgia called to see if I was still planning to visit my parents and grandfather in Missouri for Christmas (2001). If so, she’d like to meet me there and introduce her daughter – that would be my youngest granddaughter, Madison Amelia Brown – to her great-great-grandfather, great-grandparents, an aunt and uncle or two and various cousins.

And just like that, it was perfectly clear why fate had directed what’s-his-name to arrange for me to have lots more of Georgia on my mind – so I could see more of my Athens granddaughter and her mom an’em…

Over the next 18 months I drove nearly 6,000 miles in Georgia, while shooting, for a total of 15 days, almost 75 rolls of film.