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image by
Elijah Gowin
Game Player, 2001


Maggie is the oldest person I know. As she first wandered into the frame of the camera, I realized she was the authentic link that breathed life into the backyard contraptions that I had started to build. Eyes worn tired and failing, she would run her fingers across my salvaged collection of faded cloth, torn calendars and rusted tools. At those moments she would be able to draw up an old memory, hold it in balance for a moment until it would fly away into the thicket of her mind once again. In this way, she claimed her place as guide and epicenter to help me understand the curve of history, the rise and fall of a mill town, the spinning orbs that make up the family. Perhaps only first steps, but looking back at these pictures (now almost ten years old as I write) they become more important every year as I try to trace where I have been, who I have become, how to come home if I need to.