Volume III, No. 4, Summer 1976




BARNS AT EVERY TURN OF THE ROAD

by Terry Brandt

Photography by Larry Doyle


Surrounded by a patchwork of interlocking fields, the immense wooden structure with its towering silos overlooks the farm as would a medieval castle its own kingdom.

The murky pond water with its shadowy reflection reminds me of a moat guarding the fortress from intruders. This rippled reflection invites my imagination. The towering grain silos might serve as an outlook post over the countryside or as an invincible hiding place for a beautiful princess.

The heavy timber door with its ancient iron pulley and weathered appearance closes out the world and shelters the barn's inhabitants from the natural elements like the castle's drawbridge and gate protected the villagers in adverse times.

Inside the darkness and dampness are almost as prominent as the dank smell--this must be the dungeon.

But climbing the primitive ladder I enter a wonderland of hay stacked higher than imaginable. The warm sunbeams stream through the open slats and the diamond-shaped cut-outs, bringing sparkling white light into the dark loft. The glistening hay with its pungent odor rustles under my feet and sticks to my clothing as I climb to the turret of this castle of my own.

From the lofty door looking across the valley I see new metallic barns that have sprung up over the countryside, while their forerunners stand nearby where they have endured the assault of men, the elements and time. They remain, not as obsolete reminders of the horse drawn days, but as aesthetic realities, reflecting the needs of their era by their classic, all-purpose designs.

Although some of the old barns have been renovated to serve the modern farmer, others have outlived their usefulness and have been left to ruin. Yet the sturdy oaken skeletons refuse to disappear.

They are not fortresses, though they sheltered. They are not the past, though they reflect it. They are everywhere now, peacefully marking the landscape so that you, too, might see...

...Castles in your imagination at every turn of the road.

[35]




Copyright 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.


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