Loadstar is a series of medium-duty trucks made by International Harvester from 1962 to 1979. It was primarily used for local delivery, including school buses and fire engines. It was also used extensively in the agricultural and construction industries.
Since May, when my wife and I began driving frequently between Eugene and Oakland (OR), I’d had my eye on a small salvage yard just off the interstate midway between the two towns. There was little detail to be seen as we sped by, just a blur of old machinery, faded paint—and rust. Photographers, like moths to a flame, are drawn to these things. Yesterday I finally pulled off the freeway to see what sat behind a line of trees.
It was quickly apparent the collection of vehicles resting behind barbed wire and chain-link fencing has sat undisturbed for many years. At one time a gas station operated here—the faded building peeks out from behind large brown machinery. My interest was particularly piqued by a decrepit logging truck sitting in the weedy front row, and as I fetched my tripod from the trunk the rural postal carrier drove up to deliver the day’s mail. I was parked in front of the yard’s mail box, but she didn’t mind—a drink of water and stretch of legs was overdue. We chatted for a moment before she returned to her deliveries, and I realized I was staring at stories.
International Harvester and the logging industry have been influenced by various factors (poor management, changes in technology, and politics chief among them) to become what they are today, and here the effects on both are symbolized in a single frame. Whether it’s a happy ending or not, though, there’s nothing quite as satisfying to a photographer as passing along stories in a picture.