Coopersville in Polaroid

This weekend I went to Coopersville, Michigan, to photograph. It was very quiet there late morning. There is the historic Coopersville & Marne Railway, which operates vintage locomotives and cars. It was closed while I was there. The streets were empty of people mostly.  I think I was there between the brunch and lunch crowds.

While there I spend some time photographing around the historic railroad cars and locomotive and doing small-town street photography. I also toured the Coopersville historical museum. There is also an agricultural museum.

Here are a couple of my favorite shots. As with last week, I photographed with an eye towards processing the images in a Polaroid style. This week I not only went with the tones and colors of Polarids, but the 1×1 format of the film.

The wedding shop had a window display model wearing what I assume is a bridesmaid dress (or a very strong statement for a wedding dress!).

Many of the shops on the main drag are more practical, day-to-day stuff. There is an automotive repair shop right downtown and several hardware stores.

I found a great set of windows to shoot through. The clouds almost look like they are inside the building, the double reflections work so nicely.

I think this is my favorite of the morning–railroad tracks and the backside of another hardware store and garden center. It looks to once have been a feed mill from the red towers you can see on the right. This feels like a quintessential small town image.

The surprise of the day was the most famous person associated with Coopersville. He was born in Grand Rapids, but grew up in Coopersville, and his his own area in the historical museum. The museum has some cool stuff associated with its early timber industry, with farming, and with people who served in the nation’s many wars. But the section on Del Shannon stood out.

Shannon’s most famous song was a Billboard charts number one, “Runaway.” It’s got a cool sound and his voice has a regretful tone during the verses. The warbling “wondered” chorus and bridge music do not really fit sound and the lyrics in the verses. It’s as if the song writer was not sure what mood he wanted. Shannon struggled with alcoholism and shot himself in 1990.

Enjoy the music. And stay safe and cool out there. It’s going to be nice weather in West Michigan for most of the next week.

Michigan so far has not had COVID19 numbers shoot up like in the worst parts of the country. But the number of hospitalized patients in the area is rising again. So be smart and protect yourself. It would be great to see vaccinations numbers rise in the state and good to see more people wearing masks. Maintaining a mostly normal economy will be a lot easier with COVID19 discipline.

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