Last year on the way to the coolest photography event of the year, the MPIX photography conference, we accidentally went through the little town of Picher OK. I knew of Picher as a kid because my brothers used to play football there, and more recently from the news where they were talking about the buyouts due to the toxic and unsafe nature of living surrounded by the leftovers of mining.
As we happened upon the town we quickly realized that we needed to stretch our legs a bit, so we found a place to park, grabbed our cameras, and took a walk.
Here is what we shot in Apr. 2010:
Since that day we have really wanted to go back and shoot Picher again. Well, we finally got our chace this week. WOW, what a change. Almost every house and building we shot was gone. Last year the town blocks that we walked along were mostly filled with empty houses, and although I don't know about the rest of the town I suspect it was the same. This year almost every block had been cleared. There were just a few areas that still had a few homes left. All that remains of the little diner in the video above is a cement floor with a few tattered vinyl tiles still attached.
Here is what we shot this week May 2011:
And finally here is a news broadcast for more info: