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Stay Clear

James Rasmusson

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Stay Clear


James Rasmusson


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The Demolition Derby has been popular with thrill seekers of all ages since its inception in 1947. In the Winter of 1992 I was up in Vanderbilt Michigan meandering around with my big Linhof camera looking for images that expressed the funky independence of the native people who live at the tip of Michiganís lower peninsula. I took Old 27 north past I75 and felt the urge to segway onto a country road that headed west. Then, to my left was what I would describe as a demolition derby graveyard; battered old cars were everywhere. The snow was deep but it didnít stop me from slogging through the frozen junkyard. My attention was soon grabbed by a bright yellow car that had the words ĎStay clearí painted on the back. Like all the cars in the rural rubbish pile it was obvious that it hadnít managed to stay clear of the ramming rampage of testosterone driven drivers. A good Demolition Derby driver rams with the rear of his car to preserve the engine and steering axle. ĎStay Clearí had obviously been either the giver or receiver of many a rear end collision. I inserted the legs of my Gitzo tripod into a nearby snowdrift to get the primo angle of view I needed to archive the final resting place of the iron warrior.


April 26th, 2012


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