I will always think of it as a sweet scent, like warm syrup, cloying, thick, but comforting, pancakes on a Saturday morning. From late summer to early fall that was all we could smell. I remember the trains that ran on the now abandoned tracks by my old house, even we little kids could nail it with rocks picked from the bed of the tracks, running so slow through the neighborhood when you got a little older you could run and jump on the back, to jump off again when it got downtown to the cigarette factory where the loading dock workers yelled as you ran off with your friends laughing hysterically at the adventure. That smell overtook the one of the rabbits who died in the yard, here is a shovel, son, bury your pets, was raccoons, maybe. But it had to end, and we had to leave that place, and so did the trains and factories, the yelling loading dockworkers and the syrup, the sweet smell, the time of my life.
“The only thing more lucrative than an acre of tobacco is another acre of tobacco.”
After Golden Leaf explores the cultural landscape of North Carolina as it attempts to accommodate the realities of the modern economy. The photographs investigate the history of tobacco farming as well as the future of the communities it has built. After Golden Leaf is the story of tobacco, but also of the US as a whole as it watches domestic industry search for a new foothold in a changing world.
After the fun filled days of changing hot oil sixty hours a week, I hammered nails in three states before tiring of heat exhaustion and moving stacks of 3/4 inch plywood.
A BFA, a 6 month Mexican adventure and a 3 year stint in New York City, I returned home to Durham, NC where I hang out with my wife Alicia, daughter Nyx and son Pablo.
Whenever not making photos for myself or a variety of editorial clients, I ride my skateboard, as I have done for nearly 30 years.