Wednesday, March 31, 2010

3rd song and Indiana's largest....

Round barn.

So I was gallivanting early this morning and thought of a shooting a barn that's on Mt.Comfort road and 56th aka 500n I drive by on my way to church. I got to the intersection and the light was just not "right" and here it was, 7:30 and I'm out, so, what do I do? I sometimes abide by the 3 song rule, which I learned from one of my photography friends or profs, or perhaps a book I read, back in the past millennium, which is actually a shooting rule Minor White would give his students. Simply, at the end of the 3rd song, wherever you are, you stop get out of your car and shoot. So I drove a bit south on Mt. Comfort Rd by the airport, Shameless playing, song 1, down, the road photo in here came from Garth Brooks' inspiration, or at least, that's who was playing, obviously, not the 3rd song. Then I believe it was either Counting Crows or Lenny Kravitz, regardless, I'm taking back roads behind/around the Mt. Comfort airport and come across this amazing sight. A HUGE, I mean, larger than like any other barn around and perhaps what made it so much more special to me was that it's round. So, I get out and Lenny's playing "just can't get you out of my mind" and I'm sucked in across a few pastures and fields by this enormous red barn.
Naturally, I'm figuring out how I could get closer without trespassing or getting in the way or shot at and decide that the best way to get the best view is to make my way to the owners property and see if anyone's around and inquire about photographing their barn.
So I pull up their road, beautiful, typical turn of the century white farm house at the front leading you to the barn and beside it another enormous shop which is where I meet Gary Kingen.
Like a typical jovial Hoosier he looks up at me from behind his cutting torch as he's busy fabricating something on his flatbed, smiling. Most likely wondering who I was and perhaps figuring that if I'm brave enough to walk up to him with 4 dogs barking very unhappily that I at least deserve a glad hand and big smile.
So I introduced myself and told him how amazed I was by this barn. Now, I've seen a lot of barns. For some reason, I've never registered seeing a round barn, although in hindsight there's another one, not far from the Kingen's that's now a B&B, but it's tiny in comparison.
Gary, being the gracious proud family farmer put his torch down, and began to give me a short history lesson and tour of this amazing structure built in 1903 by a Pennsylvania robber baron-type by the name of Lillith or (it's close, but not exactly right) and his family bought the farm and has lived and worked it since 1906.
Now I love farms, they remind me a lot of working at the gold mine's from my college days except you don't have to wear hardhats and deal with MSHA or OSHA. My point is, is that I got to mosey around this amazing structure which in and of itself should be a museum piece and thankfully, didn't have to get documentation and legal junk to enjoy this historical structure.
I could go on and on about this barn, obviously, I never write this much in my blogs, all I can say is that the entire inside is handhewn wood from the property, the floors are laminate 1x2's and well, I'll let the pictures speak the rest. I've probably got close to a 1000 words already and hopefully, my pics will give you a much greater appreciation for what I happened upon this morning on my 3rd song...

Like everything else on my blog, if you want to see the photos larger just click and I'd like to thank Gary again for his graciousness and willingness to show me a part of his family's history and a bit of Indiana's neatest oddities.


Anonymous said...

I'm Gary's grandaughter and I've been coming to my grandpa's and hanging out in the barn and vistiting the top for 14 years now. I, like you, have never gotten over the size. I'm always wanting to show my friends. It's an amazing place that never looses it's touch. I really enjoyed your story on it and your pictures were amazing.

Brian Diehl said...

Thank you so much! Your grandpa is very cool, very gracious and you are lucky to have not only a cool family, but also be part of a great unique bit of Indiana History! Thanks for the comment/story

Who's this Brian guy?

My photo
I'm one of the few people from Wyoming in the midwest. Born and bred, by default I'm a cowboy, through life though I guess I've kept the wanderlust and taken it urban. Having lived in 11 states now, I feel safe to say that I've found home in Indy. I'd never have dreamed I'd live here but 5 years later, I have no complaints! I've been a "lifestyle" photographer for quite a while. Cutting my teeth in landscape photography and photojournalism out West I've developed a style that focuses on simplicity, beauty and life lived well.