Elkhorn John

Sometimes our days don’t go as planned. Today was one of those days. I left Butte this morning with five places to visit on my list. Five. The first place on that list was Elkhorn. It was supposed to be a quick visit because, five places(!!) and I was on a mission. Then I met John. Elkhorn John, as he is known. He lives right across the street from the famous fraternity hall I had come to shoot (of course, as luck would have it my timing was off and the sun was right behind the building! boo!) I liked John instantly. He reminded me so much of my Dad, right down to the suspenders! Anyway, he told me all about the town, explained how he ended up being one of the eight full time residents in Elkhorn, introduced me to his dogs, showed me his giant rock collection that he proudly displays in his front yard and even taught me how to spot silver and gold in ordinary rocks (was he trying to teach me a deeper, more powerful lesson…?) Eventually we parted ways, John and I, but only after I had promised him I would check out the restored water tower at the top of the hill on the way out of town. By the time I got back down the mountain I realized my list was suddenly looking unrealistic and I’d be lucky to get two places in. Two! But then I looked over at the passenger seat where three rocks and one jar of freshly picked gooseberries sat and I smiled. I’d make that trade all over again, in a heartbeat. See you next Summer, John!

Author: Paula M Smith

Paula Smith is a photographer who resides in Washington State. Over the past few years, Paula has taken great joy in exposing the subtle beauty of abandoned structures and bringing to light the true worth of places that are often overlooked. Paula believes that every picture tells a story, and hopes that her photographs inspire others to see the value in that which has been discarded and forgotten.

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