It’s difficult to catch the wind or to harness a butterfly, it is even more difficult to explain the Blue Rose. One thing that it is, is a collection of stories with pictures and mostly true. Other than that, the what or the possibly the who, I will leave up to you. I wish I could say the Blue Rose was the result of one of my three a.m. wakings, grabbing a notebook and pen, but it was not that dramatic. Flipping through my photographs one day I ran across the blue passionflower and rose, put two and two together and here is the outcome. Having done some non fiction writing, I wondered what sort of story I could come up by mixing the truth with some ideas where the truth was not that important. While doing some research, I discovered that there are several books out there with the title of The Blue Rose but a true Blue Rose flower remains a Gardener’s dream.
The word “dream” seems fitting as this series of stories will be a journey of a Photojournalist as he seeks the perfect “Blue Rose” Story. Come along on this trip but just remember, as Ringo Starr said”You know it don’t come easy.”
Evelyn was a tall willowy woman who could look at home either back at the farm which currently was in the hands of Elizabeth her oldest daughter or selling perfume at the downtown Macy’s department store.It was 1945 and the War sounded like it was going to over soon, but right now she was on a mission of sorts per the War Department in Washington. Evelyn also was one of those people that liked to parcel nicknames, several times she had thought of this train as “The Spy Special”. Evelyn’s husband Elmer was a soldier stationed at Fort Knox as part of the the Signal Corps, whatever that was. One thing was for certain, she had to deliver these documents to Elmer.
The Station’s overnight rooms seemed like a handy place to bed down and she was just downright weary of sitting and looking out of a dusty train window. As Evelyn crossed the tile floor of the Station proper she noticed something shiny on the floor and couldn’t resist bending over and picking it up. The object was a new 1944 dime. With some hesitation she tucked the dime into her pocketbook, “Well” she thought, which almost turned into a “Well Hell”, “With all these people walking around, if I don’t pick it up, somebody else will”. Evelyn thought that she might feel guilty by picking up somebody else s money and keeping it, but to the contrary the dime felt warm and almost tingly. When she held it up and looked at it closer against the window light she noticed a man dressed in a sharply tailored blue suit standing out front.holding a Speed Graphic camera. The photographer seemed to be on a photo shoot involving one of the new Chevrolet cars that had just been produced.The thought that he must be a Picture Man instantly crossed her mind.
The Picture Man
The Picture man decided that he would shoot the blue ’67 Camaro and the black Chevelle and then take a break. He had been at the Drag Strip for over nine hours already and had been shooting cars for the last five. Beech Bend was a great drag strip but so much burnt rubber and nitro methane is enough. Besides that, he really wanted to find himself a story to write about today.
A look at his Nikon told him he had taken 238 pictures of cars so far. He was using his old and reliable Nikon D90. Last year in 2013 the camera had turned five years old which is ancient in the digital world,it had over 84,000 shutter clicks on it but it was a faithful workhorse. Almost tripping over the untied lace of his Diesels he snugged his camera and headed back to his table where his laptop and displays were set up. “End of May and already the switch is on high heat” he thought. He would go over and see Melvin at the Old Mule Concessions first and sang a cold bottle of water and then download the images. Turning his body with his camera snugged he noticed out of the corner of his vision Jackie and Bruce in the staging lanes. Bruce was a championship driver of another Camaro, a generation 3. He and Jackie were on a scooter watching the action and waiting for Bruce’s turn on the Strip. It looked like they saw him because they did a quick couples pose for the camera.
The Picture Man unlocked the gate, turned to re lock it, turned his head and stood still for a good ten seconds. What had caught his eye was a mass of tattoos. These were not ordinary run of the mill tramp stamps, these beauties were engraved garnishes of swirls, flowers and whatevers done up in blues, greens, reds and black.
They adorned the arms and neck of a, what, girl? lady?? What do you call somebody that appears to be about twenty when you’re an old guy over sixty, a girl or a woman? At least it was obvious that she was a female.
Hesitation was not one of the traits of the Picture Man but hesitate he did. After seeing Jackie and Bruce he did a quick photo shoot with the Indie Babes and his eyes were still burning. “Screw it ” he whispered to himself “I’m taking a break”. The Picture Man wanted a real break, away from the Track hunkered down with a large cherry lime slush and a chili dog at the Sonic down the road.
He couldn’t quite get his mind of the tattoos he had seen and the story that would be behind them and had managed to speak to Miss Tattoo long enough to fine out her name was Beth with a twin sister by the name of Bethany and that her and her husband had a dragster in the races this weekend.
It was time to head to the Sonic down the road for a super size cherry limeade and possibly a chili dog. He would be driving down Louisville Road which had one of his favorite landmarks….Tobacco Road,