I look forward to being older, when what you look like becomes less and less an issue, and what you are becomes the point.Susan Sarandon
It’s not unusual for one of us to pull over while driving country roads to take a closer look at an abandoned barn, rusting farm implements, or anything that looks like something time forgot. But Tina’s topic for this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge: Seen Better Days immediately reminded us of a place we came upon unexpectedly on St. Simons Island, Georgia, near the Sea Island Golf Club: the remains of the Retreat Plantation hospital. In its day, the hospital and its 10 rooms served the slaves of the plantation.
The remaining structure has indeed seen better days. The structure itself is tentative. Moss grows along once-creamy walls, and bricks stand for now, but for how long? Ferns emerge from cracks in the walls, and massive trees add a bit of elegance as they provide contrast to the aging structure.
These decaying, crumbling walls reveal the elements of construction — tabby, it’s called — a mixture of oyster shells, lime, sand and water. It was a common concoction used effectively in coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia. And, as you can see, it endures (albeit not sturdily) for many years.
We wish these walls could talk and answer the questions Who was there? For how long? For what illnesses?
But for now, it’s at least a comfort knowing that the remains are available for all to see, thanks to preservationists with vision.
If you survive long enough, you’re revered — rather like an old building.Katherine Hepburn
If you’d like to see more entries for Tina’s challenge, head to her site and check out the photography.
Travel during your better days,
Rusha & Bert