SCREEN: Searching For The Wrong Eyed Jesus

I was driving thru Alabama a few Octobers back and a roadside church sign asked “Would Jesus Go Trick Or Treating?” My gut response was “Hell yeah! Why not?” Afterall, I come from NYC where all entities tend to co-exist rather peaceably. Just last Sunday, as a matter of fact, I went to 11am services at an Episcopal church that lives right next door to year-round Halloween shop.

Religion takes many forms in the South – from blues to BBQ, from snake handling to SEC football. The editor of one of my favorite Southern-based magazines soberingly brushed my photos off once as “quaint.” I guess I tend to “search for the wrong eyed jesus.” Maybe it’s trite to be in the South and take photos of a rusty car, a weathered shack, a little white church, a field of cotton, a juke joint, a bluesman. If I can’t do it up better than the Wms Christenberry or Eggleston why bother?

Maybe because even 50 years later there is a way of life that still exists despite everything else changing so rapidly that we barely have time to make sense of it all. On my next drive, I just might still find a woman in Hale or Perry county sitting on her porch making egg carton flowers. Maybe we could all use a little quaint right now. Can I get an “Amen?”

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