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.
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.