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May 21, 2011 Imagined (Violators Will Be Towed) – Off Elliot Ave – Seattle, WA

As I travel around, locally and afar, I take note of things that interest me from a photograph perspective and jot them down so I don’t forget them.

Actually what happens is I dictate a note to my cell phone and snap a quick shot with it. Essentially my cell phone is my sketch book and occasionally one of those sketches has just enough of an “it” factor that I that I share them as I have done several times here.

Before heading out the next time with my proper gear I try to review these sketches, and if the conditions are correct I will stop by them to evaluate if the subject is worth shooting at that time.

This process tends to keep this catalog current in my head and if I have the time and I happen to have my camera with me I will alter my route to see if the place is worth shooting at that time. This image is the result of one of those opportunities.


One evening as I exited from where I live, sometime in March 2011 I think, there was this van, all done up with in your face graphics proclaiming something about May 21, 2011 and such. I figured out quickly it had to do with a rapture prediction and that the signs on the van were the handy work of the driver. I sort of assumed that the owner happened to be in the area by chance and promptly forgot the whole thing (I hadn’t yet converted to using my cell phone as a sketch book).

A few weeks later this whole scene came rushing back when the main news sources picked up on Harold Camping and his Family Radio’s End of Times story prediction. At that time I remembered the van and realized it was part of the Camping Clan camping out. As the story reached its natural crescendo, I became increasingly amused by all the hubbub.

However this bit of silliness did get me wondering about what the world would look like to those left behind if a rapture did actually occur. I had planned to go out that evening to photograph the whole thing but I had to work so I didn’t and afterwards I went out for drinks. I wish somebody had warned me that raptures came with hangovers.

A few weeks later I found myself driving by this location to see if it might be worth photographing and boy, was it ever. I knew instantly I had found my post-rapture shot.

It’s a good thing that it was very late at night and that I was the only person on the road, because I pulled a quick your u-turn across 3 lanes and then made an illegal left turn to get to this spot.

I quickly shot the scene which is a good thing because the owner of this vehicle showed up right after I shot my last image. I pretty sure we were both surprised by each other’s presence. Actually I think he was more worried than surprised at me being there because I kind of suspect he had just concluded a drug deal around the corner of the building.

I had always thought the this whole rapture stuff would be about white robes with purple collars, lots of praying, and abandoned pets. I would never have predicted that the rapture would also encompass hangovers, reckless driving, and drug deals.

Count me in for the next one, I can’t wait.

Copyright 2012 By Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved.