PAX: A Southern Snowy Town Portrait – Downtown Athens, TN


SNOW Beautiful!!! I’d “predicted” 5″…I was wrong. Downtown Athens, TN in the Snow is a magical sight…especially 6 inches. (Wound up right about 8!!!) How’s that for a “walkabout”?!

I was working late at the studio, I know I know…nothing new there, but I wasn’t expecting Snowmageddon from Winter Storm Pax to hit so quickly. I was glad I put extra winter clothes and boots in my ride a few weeks ago. I started home later in the eve, but quickly turned back around as none of my paths were plowed, even on the normally bustling main thoroughfares crawling along in my SUV at 15-20mph was no match for the compacted mess.

I was destined to ride out this one in the studio, and I was oddly ok with getting “snowed in at work”…I had no idea how fun that would prove to be!

I worked on images until 1:30am. I hadn’t heard a vehicle struggle up North Jackson in about an hour so I figured it was “go time”. I bundled up, donned my gear and boots, and headed out the door.

It was an eerie quiet. I’ve worked many a late night, observed what I thought was “dead”, but this was a new kind of still…a welcome kind of quiet.

I strolled the streets around downtown shooting some of my favorite buildings which I think are beautiful old works of architecture normally when it’s a clear day…this was a new kind of pretty. The snow brought out details in the old gals that I’d never noticed before.

Walking in the snow-covered streets as fresh fluff POURED from the sky, with no sound other than the squish of the snow under my feet followed by the faint “poof” as it hit the ground when I lifted my boot, provided an excitement and new wonder I have no words to explain! It.was.MAGICAL!

I’ve always loved snow, you may not find anyone who loves it more than I. My favorite feature is how it turns even something as unremarkable, or even ugly, like a trash can, into a brilliant new sight. Purified, “washed”…a more lovely picture of what Christ’s blood did for all who choose to believe!

“What’s underneath that pile? What’s making the snow shape that way under there?” It’s a mystery, covered in fluffy, frozen, white. I saw some of my favorite buildings draped in the proverbial “icing” on the pretty cakes. They just do not make buildings like these beauties anymore! The brick, the wood work, the windows, the tiny, intricate details that normally we breeze by too fast to notice…not this night…I absorb them all coated in brilliant, white, shimmer.

I took just a “few” images πŸ˜‰ whittling them down to what you’ll see below, and as I couldn’t decide if I liked color or b&w better I decided to share both. So, enjoy downtown Athens…deserted, and blanketed in white. You may view the images in larger size via the BJP Fine Art Gallery under “Athens: Snowstorm 2014”

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30 thoughts on “PAX: A Southern Snowy Town Portrait – Downtown Athens, TN

  1. I live in Europe permanently, but this is my hometown. What a wonderful few minutes I had scrolling through your pictures. Ah home sweet home.

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    1. Wow thank you for your comment from across the pond! Truly wonderful getting to share a bit of “home” with you. If you’d ever like to have a piece of your East TN home to hang on your European home walls the prints are available for purchase in the gallery linked in the post πŸ™‚ One day I hope to travel to Europe and capture the beauty there for myself to hang on my walls here πŸ™‚

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  2. WOW…what a treat!. I grew up in Athens and am still proud to proclaim I am from East Tennessee. I graduated from MCHS in 1962 and left a few months later for 20 year Military and 24 year Federal service careers. I still get back “home” every year or so…sometimes less often.
    These pictures bring back fond memories. When I was a kid, we would get a significant snowfall every few years. I’m so out of touch with the particulars of what building is what. They’ve pretty much all changed into something different from what I knew. I recognize the church and courthouse of course, but time marches on and things change. But…they have that air of familiarity! Is that the old DPA office…or the old Western Auto, or the old Strand Theatre? I don’t know, but I can imagine can’t I?
    Thanks for the pictures!

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    1. You’re very welcome Dean! I love walks down memory lane! When I was capturing these I imagined someday finding old portraits of Athens in snow and maybe side by siding these with their old counterparts to compare. Time does march on, and images are great to help us remember…or boost our imaginations πŸ™‚

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  3. These pictures are absolutely beautiful! Being a lifetime native of McMinn County these scenic beauties allow you to stop and appreciate the richness and warmth of home.

    Thank you for cheers, tears, and wonderful years through beautiful photos, we do, so often, take for granted!

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  4. Absolutely beautiful!! Makes me miss my home town of Athens, TN so much. It is the most beautiful place to me. The people there are truly some of the best, friendliest people on earth. Very lovely. I just talked to my Mama and Daddy just a little bit ago then saw these. Thank you for capturing it’s beauty.

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  5. When I saw these photographs they brought back wonderful memories of growing up in Athens. I will be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to grow up here. I will forever be an East Tennessee girl. Thank you for posting these pictures. They are wonderful!!!

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  6. What beautiful photos! I was born and raised here in Athens but moved away to L.A. when I was 22. For almost 39 years I lived there, but always longed to come home again. That dream came true in August 2013. Unfortunately I didn’t know how badly such cold weather would affect my old worn out bones and now must move back to hated L.A. These pictures brought me to tears, knowing I must leave my beloved town and state again. Thank you so much for sharing such beauty with us.

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    1. Wanda, thank you for your kind words! I’m so happy to hear when images I capture touch people! Sad to hear you must leave our beloved state, but no matter what anyone says you CAN go home again πŸ™‚ Prayers for safe travels in your move!

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    2. Thank you. It was a very hard decision to make. The only things that make L.A. tolerable are my kids, grandkids and the large variety of restaurants and the number of restaurants that provide home delivery. Well, I guess I would have to add one more thing…the art museums. Would it be okay if I use some of your photos as my cover page on Face Book? I would, of course, make sure that you receive credit for these wonderful works of art. Also, I would like to know what name by which to address you. Somehow it just doesn’t seem right to address you by your business name.

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  7. Great photos of Athens. Even though I have lived in N. Calif. for over 50 years, Athens is still my home town and I love the old buildings around the “Square”. Thanks for sharing. Brings back many happy memories.

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  8. These are absolutely beautiful! One of the many things I treasure about Athens is the vital downtown. Thank you for documenting this vitality and sharing it. I agree these should be published!

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  9. In town visiting & your shop was on the must do list this afternoon. Interested in the wonderful Snowy Athens pics. What are you hours?
    Tks,
    Stan

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  10. Your photo’s triggered such memories of my youth…I moved away after graduating in the MCHS class of 1972… As a child there can be nothing more fun and exciting as snow…as a teenager there can be nothing as romantic as snow…. for it makes our world surreal..more beautiful, more magical, .if but for a short time. Thank you for sharing our beautiful southern town clothed in its finest from above.

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