Nostalgia in our pictures

We’re all too familiar with how a favorite song or a pleasant smell can instantly transport us back in time.

How about a picture?

Do you have something in your archives which does that?

I made the picture above in the Hare Krishna community called New Vrindaban in West Virginia in 1986.

I haven’t kept up with the latest on the community but while I was there, they had their own elephant. It was enough to fool anyone that the picture could have been in India.

I don’t remember too much about the gentleman in the picture because it’s been a long time.

He was the mahout responsible for the care and their elephant which I believe was a circus discard.

My weekend trips to this community, I cherished.

I seldom had opportunities to travel outside of Kent due to my janitorial duties at the Student center.

I have to count my blessings now that I think of it.

Back in college, I didn’t always had access to a car.

Imagine being a photography student in college without wheels.

That severely limited my portfolio as a Photojournalism major.

Thankfully, I befriended a devotee by the name of Nirmala who traveled between Kent and this community every weekend.

I was given access to the Hare Krishna ashram (dormitory) to photograph the children who lived there.

They even fed me, a complete stranger, while I was there.

I remember bringing one of my classmates one weekend. It totally freaked her out.

At the time, I didn’t realize why. I guess the decor, the isolation and the feel of the community totally made her feel like she was in a land far away not here in these United States.

As I scan and digitize more of these images, I’ll add them.