There’s an abandoned house about two miles north of us in Paupack, PA. It’s on the road to Hawley, not far from the old Lake Moc-A-Tek stock car race track that’s now an RV park. It’s within striking distance, too, of the Gumble Brothers building supply store that morphed into an icehouse/museum some years ago, and more recently into an axe-throwing emporium.
The house is surprisingly hard to see from the road, partly because it’s framed by large trees, partly because it hasn't been occupied for a very long while, maybe because it doesn't want to be seen..
At first, I didn’t understand what drew me back once I found no one was there. For a time I was shaken by the thought I've been making an elaborate series of self-portraits (which may still be a motive). I gradually realized that it was the prolonged struggle against entropy that fascinated me–the unwillingness of the flower garden to stop blooming, the on-its-knees laundry line’s refusal to fall to the ground, the small apple orchard continuing to bear fruit and resisting encroaching brambles.
I’d like that tenacity to be true of me. But it’s certainly emblematic of the toughness and perseverance of this part of the country.
A long-time admirer of Joichi Hoshi and Hajime Namiki, the trees had me on day one.