When I was a kid my grandfather, Big Daddy, used to take us fishing in Leeville Louisiana on the bayous of the Mississippi river south west of New Orleans. He had a moble home there he called the fishing camp. We’d motor around the waterways scattered with oil rigs, and pipes, wetlands and brackish lakes.
One of my favorite spots was the boat graveyard. As I remember is was on a narrow strip of bayou just off a large open lake where we would catch flounder from a thin spit of beach. The approach took us down the channel past dozens of derilict fishing boats listing in the shallow water and we’d have to fend off hitting the hulls with an old wooden paddle Big Daddy kept in the boat for emergencies.
I was fascinated by the hulks of boats cast aside there in the boat graveyard. I wanted to climb over their transoms and explore the hold for treasure. Even now I can’t help but believe that something that once was a mechanism for transportation and by extension, adventure, whether it is an old fishing boat left cockeyed in a bayou, or an airplane left disintegrating in the desert, still must have some inherent value, or overlooked remnant of usefulness owing to the inconceivability of throwing away something so magnificent to slowly be consumed into the geology of our discarded culture.
The Art of Paul White
I came across this video of Paul White discussing his work on the internet somehow. In it Mr. White talks about what draws him to the decayed structures of our modern technological world. “The landscape as a backdrop for the castoffs of metropolis. All the things that are discarded in the desert.”
The Mojave Boneyard
Some of the drawings Paul White has done were inspired by photographs from the Boneyard at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave California.
The Mojave Air and Space Port is a civillian aerospace test center that is the first such facility to be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration for horizontal launches of reusable space craft such as SpaceShipOne and Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer. If you are driving past the area on HWY 178 you can see the aircraft and it’s pretty cool to stare out the window as the dessert and airplanes pass by.
Also at the Mojave Air and Space Port is an area for Heavy Aircraft Maintenance and Storage, also called the Mojave Boneyard. There is a great gallery of Boneyard images at the Spaceport’s website. Click the image below to check it out.
Boneyards are everywhere
Junk yards, boneyards and places where old trucks, busses, trains, planes and boats go to rot are everywhere. Is there one near you? Post a pic!