Her name was Audrey Bradford Stubbs, nicknamed “Brad.” She and her husband, Dennis, adopted me as their son when I was in the US Air Force stationed at a Strategic Air Command base in Amarillo, Texas, back in the early 60s. The three of us spent many hours listening to Beethoven, talking, and drinking Italian Swiss Colony sherry. She always told Dennis and me that we needed to drink slowly, so as to maintain that warm buzz the whole weekend.
Over the years as a magazine editor in New York I scheduled my assignments to include a stopover in Texas so I could visit these dear people, and we remained in close touch for 30 some years. Both died several years ago. I wrote a short story for Atomic Petals about what Brad went through when Dennis passed away. In it I renamed them Harry and Jean, which now seems wholly unnecessary. Read it here.
These images were made on a visit to “Cadillac Ranch,” outside of Amarillo, in 1980. It’s a novel sculpture consisting of ten cars buried nose first into the perfectly flat plain of the Panhandle. Gradually the vehicles deteriorated, and now they're rusty metaphors of what awaits us all.