I spent the holidays visiting family in Newport News, VA, and in walking around the neighborhood, happened upon this little scene in someone’s front yard. My guess is that some little boy who loves fire trucks wanted to pretend that he was “parking” his firetruck in front of the garage of his family’s house, and that he would be ready for action when needed.
It reminded me of a photograph by one of my favorite photographers, Joel Sternfeld, whose book “American Prospects” contains many memorable images. If you scroll down below my picture, you’ll see the Sternfeld image that I’m associating with, titled “Buckingham, Pennsylvania, August 1978.” In that picture, Sternfeld has happened upon a backyard scene where some kids have a number of toy trucks on a small mound of dirt, most likely an imaginary scene of home construction not unlike the suburban neighborhood in which the picture was taken.
If you get a chance to see other images from American Prospects, you’ll see that Sternfeld has an amazing knack at finding unusual and fascinating circumstances to photograph … think about it, how many artists happen upon an exhausted renegade elephant? There have been plenty of times when I’ll see something odd or unusual and think “I have to capture this Sternfeld moment for myself!”
Here’s the Joel Sternfeld picture that influenced my snapshot above: