Saddle Creek Rd., just North of Dodge, Omaha
30th St., just South of Sorensen Pkwy., Omaha
Today is the final day of the December Photo Project. As always, I’ve enjoyed peeking into the lives of everyone doing the project. I love the holiday details, the artistic shots, and the everyday.
This year, the DPP has inspired me to bring to life the images that run through my head each day. I’ll continue taking photographs and putting them together in an effort to make you think.
Today’s post is special to me because these two buildings were already paired together by history. In the 1960s, an East-coast pastor came to Omaha and tried to encourage his new congregation to reach out to other Lutherans across the city. The award-winning documentary film, A Time for Burning (1966), chronicled the story from many angles. Click the film link for some details and mentions of Omahans who are still making history here today.
Augustana Lutheran Church, 3647 Lafayette Ave., Omaha
Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, 1031 Sunset Tr. (near 60th and Western), Omaha
This juxtaposition was a surprise for me. I was in West Omaha running some errands, and I had the idea to photograph Loveland Center, a little strip mall on 90th and Center that used to contain some small stores, a Convenient Mart, and a restaurant. I knew that most of the businesses were empty and pictured a somewhat desolate photograph. I wanted to capture that because Sack’s Hardware was my first job in Omaha, the summer of ’96. I sold hardware and wrote prices in Sharpie on nuts and bolts. Back then, customers and employees could smoke cigarettes in the store. I got in trouble once for using the term “weed-whacker” over the intercom (the P.C. term was “trimmer”). I learned that “Hardware” is abbreviated “Hdwe” in the industry, an abbreviation that I have enjoyed ever since.
As I pulled up to the light at 90th, I was surprised to see that a crew was at that moment wrecking the whole strip mall! As I pulled in, they were actually about halfway through destroying Sack’s. It was a little saddening. Not that the Loveland Center was some amazing specimen of architecture, but it held some memories for myself and others.
How long should a strip mall last? What is an old hardware store worth? How do we decide whether to renovate or start from scratch?
Loveland Center, 90th and Center St., Omaha
New(ish) Development, 63rd and Center St., Omaha
Twinkle Lights at a little park on 24th and Lake, North Omaha
Twinkle Lights at 50th and Underwood, Dundee, Omaha
I love it when the neighborhood organizations decorate. It means I don’t have to! I’m feeling particularly grateful about things at this moment. I love the holiday lights and surprise beauty throughout the city. I love the extra excuses to hang out with friends and family. And, maybe it’s just the Winter Break looming, but even through my exhaustion I really loved my job today. I got to help a kid with one of the hardest things he’ll ever deal with AND I got to watch two students have a dance battle a la the Michael Jackson experience AND I got to listen to a beautiful group of kids make music AND I got to pick up crushed tator tots off the cafeteria floor. What an incredible privilege we educators have. (Maybe not so much about the tator tots, but the rest of it for sure.)