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John Palcewski's Journal

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Rusty Metaphors

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.

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what amazing photos! i've never heard of the cadillac ranch.

i'm glad you had those kind people to be family with. that's a beautiful thing.

Thanks! And it was a true blessing to have found those folks.

yes, cadillac ranch.


great photos... the woman in them remind me of my grandmother. :)

A sunbeam into the dark, my friend. Your photos are surely poignant but very, very professional and artistic.

striking is not a strong enough descriptor
thank you for posting this

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