“He played his fiddle and I wept.” ~ Cherel Ito
Much of the Ozark Mountain region is remote, and economically underserved. It is rich in musical history and in that geographical area of the country, much of the music is self-taught and aurally played. http://bit.ly/kgADNX.
Fiddles, guitars, mandolins, juice harps, dulcimers and banjos, often handmade, are widely played by local musicians. There are few community gatherings that are devoid of musical entertainment. Neighborhood musicians play at pie suppers, barn dances, “pickin’ parties and on front porches of homes. Spur of the moment “jam sessions” of bluegrass, southern rock, jazz and gospel are a dream fulfilled for artists who wish to commune in music and fellowship. How sweet it is!
Those who have never experienced life in rural America might wonder “why one would live in places so far off the beaten track?” When her photographic journeys led her to the Ozark Mountains in 1968, Cherel Ito went in search of replies to this question. The answers to the Ozark way of living and many other ways of life around the world are provided in both images and journal writings throughout Cherel’s book. Through the Lens of Her Camera is Cherel’s photographic legacy, about life, that she left behind.
“This is the kind of place that’s so down home
I feel it inside of me.
Roots that are deep are holding me. ~ Cherel Ito
Cheryl ‘s “gift,” her ability to connect with people and their emotions, is so stunningly captured and communicated in each of the images in her book. What a beautiful depiction this is, of an Ozark Mountain man’s feelings of isolation and loneliness being assuaged by his love for his music. It would appear that he would play for anyone who would listen.