There’s just something entrancing about rusty things. Just beneath the surface usually lies an interesting story. Some are obvious or easy to discover, while others remain a mystery forever leaving the observers to their own imagination. In today’s post we’re heading up island to check out a new spot we haven’t featured at The Hollow yet, that is the Ladysmith Marina. We discovered an area in the tiny town of Ladysmith last year that kept us busy for an entire day of shooting, and we begin this adventure together checking out something that was on display at the marina that captured my imagination.
Whenever I discover things like this, a special friend of ours who lives on the East Coast of the US always comes to mind. We have ruminated over our love of rusty machinery and implements over the years, sharing a passion for all things mechanical especially if they have a rich history and are slightly worn. It’s in the natural weathering that we find the character of the object.
I believe we are looking at the remnants of what once was a well-loved tugboat. The Ladysmith Marina is just off camera to the right, and as you come upon it and work your way towards the docks to see the breathtaking scenery, you come across this gem.
As a little boy, my favorite toys were always mechanical things that were real. My mom bought a brand-new car at one point, and she loved it. It would spend most of its life in our garage, shielding it from the harsh winters and brutal summers on the prairies. This made it even more appealing as I could go and sit in it and pretend to be Starsky & Hutch or some other favorite crime fighting team, chasing down the bad-guys in a definitive effort to make the world a better place to be, a safer place for all of its citizens. Countless hours behind the wheel making the screeching sound of squealing tires were regular occurrences as I escaped in my mind.
If I had a tugboat like this in my yard, I would have been in heaven.
Needless to say, I am not entirely sure they make tetanus shots strong enough to combat the injuries I would have sustained as a young trouble-maker if I had this as a toy. This is likely directly related to the fact I had no such thing. As an adult (at least according to my driver’s license) today, I find that same special magic can be discovered in items like this, albeit in a much safer and more mature manner. Today I tend to play with these things through the lens of my camera.
At least that’s what I tell everyone who asks. You can rest assured that I didn’t climb up into the cockpit of the tug here on this day to turn the wheel and push and pull the levers, all the while making engine sounds and shouting at passing boats to “get out of the way”!
At least … that’s the story I am sticking to.
Photos are © Scott Johnson – All Rights Reserved
First published at Toad Hollow Photography