Model T stories not in the book
My wife and I attended a writers workshop in 2018 on the island of Hydra in Greece. We were sitting with our group outside at Tasso’s Taberna on the harbor. A friend of the leader, named Robert Snyder, was visiting, and told me that he had been a monk at a Benedictine monastery in the 1970’s in Pecos, New Mexico. I told him that in 1923 my grandfather built a road in Pecos, and I showed him the photo on page 155, of the Valley Ranch Inn where my grandparents stayed during that job, with the Model T parked in front. Robert said, “That’s the monastery where I lived.” What are the odds? Ninety-five years later Kenneth Balcomb’s grandson meets a man on the other side of the world, who stayed in the same building in Pecos, of all places!
Another part of the story is that I was about to send the book off to the printer when my Colorado cousins sent me, the family archivist, three boxes of photos and papers of our grandparents. I already had designed the cover, using a photo from a cache of 4×5 glass-plate negatives that my wife’s uncle found in the attic of an old farmhouse in Washington state. They became the subject of a photo feature in TheScreamOnline, my online magazine for Art, Photography, Literature, Music, and Film.Most of the glass-plate negatives showed this Model T in various photos which were obviously from a cross-country trip the family took in about 1915 (you can see them all in the feature). The photo I was going to use would have worked just fine, because my grandfather was in this situation many times. HOWEVER, the wonderful boxes of photos arrived, and I found all the photos that are now in the book, including the replacement for the cover, which is Kenneth Balcomb himself, standing in front of HIS government-issued Model T. What serendipity! This is the photo from the glass neg that was on the original cover:
Stuart Balcomb, publisher