This past week I received sad news from my friend Juanita Whiddon, who is the archivist at Tall Timbers Research Station (formally Tall Timbers Plantation) in Tallahassee, Florida. Rosa, who is one of the individuals I photographed for the Tall Timbers Plantation Project has been in poor health since I photographed her one year ago. Juanita visited Rosa last week and reported that Rosa’s health had significantly declined. When I received the news, this image of Rosa, proudly holding a photograph of herself at the age of 27, came to mind. Rosa and I created this photograph after we had completed our formal photographic session at her house. Two of her grown children and Juanita were there and as we were talking and joking around on the porch, Rosa asked her son, Calvin, to retrieve a photo. When Rosa showed us this photograph she was beaming and remembering her younger years. Although I did not include this photograph in the project, this remains one of my favorites.
Friday I leave for Deltona, Florida to view the exhibition of the Tall Timbers Plantation Project, which is being shown at the Southeast Museum of Photography’s Lyonia Gallery. I am honored to have been given this amazing opportunity to share this special project with the public. This project has been dedicated to all the former residents from Tall Timbers Plantation and Juanita Whiddon who generously shared their stories and collaborated in creating the portraits. To learn more about the exhibition go to http://www.smponline.org/lyonia_sass.html