Cornbread & Milk
By Steve Tweed
The day I captured photographs of Wayne Sawyer was the first time I ever met him and I got the shots quite by surprise and accident.
I went down to the old Barnard community in Madison County to capture photographs of the iconic Barnard Store, which sits nestled against the railroad tracks alongside the French Broad River.
Today, Barnard is more well known as the put in place for River Rafting Companies than anything.
Nevertheless, on this particular day I parked my truck in the gravel across the road from the old store.
When I got out of the truck, I was captured by the nostalgic feel of the old two story brick store with the old Ford Wreckers sitting in front of and beside her.
Being new to photography, I had waited too late to arrive. The sun was white hot on the subject matter.
I was walking around, desperately trying to find a way to get a decent shot and fit everything into the frame.
I damn near jumped outta my shoes when a voice from under the shaded overhang asked “Can I help you”?
I’d never seen him sitting there in that old recliner in the shade. I was so worried about the shot of stuff that belonged mostly to the nonliving variety.
I walked over, introduced myself and told him that I was trying to capture a photograph and told him about my error in judgement regarding lighting.
Then I asked him if I could take photos of him and he said “Sure”.
Wayne lives next to the store in a small mobile home. His needs are simple and he is humble.
He has a soft-spoken demeanor and is devoutly religious, although not fervent.
I have come to find that people in the know always want to talk to Wayne.
I’ve even heard stories about him being the “Mayor” of Barnard and the usual suspects of “Town Council Members” who gather at Barnard.
Be sure to stop in. Wayne will be happy to say “Hello”.