Leaving Paradise I meandered. I went to the Rochester Dam that John Prine sang about. Rochester is a small town with maybe one store a bank and a post office. I saw a dot on my Delorme Map identifying the town of Gus. My older son’s name is Gus, so I had to go there. I drove to where the town was supposed to be and didn’t find it. I circled back, no town, then back the other way. The town of Gus is extinct. I had to call my son and tell him he no longer exists.
From Gus, I made my way to Lake Malone, still in Muhlenberg County. I’m on State Road 973, a narrow two lane road, on the north side of the lake, and the traffic is halted. There are three cars stopped in front of me. In front of them is a stove in the middle of the road. Further down the road are a number of police vehicles. There’s a shirtless man in the ditch next to the police vehicles. He is handcuffed with his arms behind his back. He periodically writhes on the ground. Two officers are entering the scrub land on the right side of the road with dogs. Rifles are out.
I grab my camera and press pass and go up to the scenes. I’m photographing the handcuffed man and the police vehicles on the road above him.
“Whatchu wanna take my picture for?”
“I’m doing a documentary on Kentucky. I’m with the Kentucky Documentary Photographic Project.”
“You got any meth?”
That was the last of our exchange. He continued to periodically writhe on the ground, to avoid letting me see his face.
The K-9 cops came back with no other suspects. The rifles were put away. And a wrecker was engaged to pull up the stove, and other items that had fallen off the handcuffed man’s trailer as he was being chased by the police.