Photographs by Terry

After my father passed away in 1956, my mother moved my sister, brother and me from Maryland to near her family in southern Arkansas.  We eventually settled on the family farm and lived there until I was eight years old when we moved to Arizona.  As a young child, I remember seeing the buildings depicted in my series, entitled “RURAL DEGRADATION” in their prime. 

During the summer of 2015, my wife and I returned to Arkansas for a family reunion.  As I drove toward Arkansas, I noticed several buildings and even small communities that once stood proud and full of life was now abandoned and decaying.  Having not been in Arkansas in more than twenty years I began to wonder how the economic issues had affected the farmlands and county side I knew as a child.

After arriving in Arkansas and exchanging pleasantries with family members, my wife and I began to travel through my childhood memories.  Some of the homes, stores and farms were difficult to find, they had been abandoned, deteriorating and the foliage had suffocate the landscape.  There were several challenges to overcome while obtaining the images for this series.  I had to maneuver through the foliage, the insects that bite and attach themselves, and reptiles that like to hide in the undergrowth.