Ever since the photo bug has caught hold of me, I find myself always looking for interesting things snap or locations for photo shoots.
Recently, I pulled over on the side of the road to take a picture of a little stream.
I loved the way the sunlight crept through the brush and glistened off of the water.
I looked like it would be the perfect little fairy hideaway.
When I finished, I proceeded to walk back across the street over to my vehicle.
Whilst looking both ways to check for oncoming traffic, I noticed an old structure built into the side of the mountain.
I thought it would make for a great black and white photo so I got back into my car, turned around and drove up the little road to get my picture.
When I pulled up, I noticed that the two doorways were filled someone's personal items which really detracted from the beauty of the shot I was hoping for, so I decided to just go home.
As I was backing out, I noticed an elderly man watching me from the front of his house and was afraid I had annoyed him by essentially trespassing on his property.
I told him that I had seen the structure from the road and thought I would take a picture and then held up my camera (so that he would believe me, I guess).
I told him I thought it was beautiful and asked what it was.
Well, it was a good thing my teenager was napping in the seat next to me because this wonderful gentleman proceeded to tell me the history of the structure, the surrounding property and himself for the next 45 minutes.
Turns out, the structure stretches back into the mountain for about 20 feet and was used to store the apples that had been grown on the farm that used to be there. They were kept at a constant cool temperature and lasted for many months.
I learned that his family once grew around 20 different kinds of apples there and some kinds that I had never heard of before.
I learned that the family once owned the land across the street but that his father had reluctantly sold it to pay off debt so that his family would be able to remain in their home and the rest of their land when he passed.
The gentleman told me that he had been a nurse and had a real passion for cars as a young man that carried on throughout his life.
He told me about the photographer who came to take nude photos of women at the old gas station that sits by the road and how those photos were sold all over the world.
I told him I have a photo of that same gas station hanging on the wall in my office; sans naked women.
I felt very comfortable speaking with him and hearing a little bit of history about the area and it felt as if I had known him for some time.
At one point his wife came out to inform him that there were deer in the field.
We walked across the street together where I took a couple of shots of the lone deer that wasn't spooked by our movement.
When it was time for me to leave, I thanked him for sharing with me and told him that maybe I would come back some time to do a formal interview. He happily agreed to it and noted that it was obvious that he "loved to gab."
For whatever reason, I found him to be utterly fascinating. As he spoke, I could almost picture myself stepping back to a much simpler time.
I imagined a bunch of little kids running around on a bright sunny day giggling as they helped to pick apples and then taking a break under a tree to enjoy their delicious bounty.
I looked around and could find no evidence of the apple trees that once stood there and it made me a little sad.
I am hoping to get back there soon to speak with him more in depth.
I would love nothing more than to take a little walk and perhaps find an old apple tree to sit under where I can listen to more of his stories.
Our seniors are literally treasure troves of the past.
Take time talk to and listen to them as there is much we all can learn.