Admissions of an addict.

My name is Marcy and I’m an addict.


I haven’t been to the river in three days, fourteen hours and thirty six minutes.

The scent of the earth … the mud, the brackishness of the water. The train echos across the river, gray in the morning light. I can’t get ENOUGH!

I find things:

So far I’ve stuck to the south side of the river. The homeless there have a few encampments but most of them keep to themselves. The homeless on the other side of the river have been drawing attention lately. They’ll probably get kicked out and move across to “my” side. There’s plenty of room for everyone, I guess. Meanwhile, I’ve met mudders like Donny. Donny is a life-long mud scavenger. He eagerly educates me regarding his finds and where he found them. The day I met him, we were both poking around. He found a vintage lipstick container and gave it to me.

“Irresistible Orange”

I can’t not go there. If you want to know how I find the time – see my last blog post. When I first began going to the river, I thought I was looking for broken pieces of vintage china to mosaic my stupid bathroom.  I was overwhelmed.

My trips there have morphed into much more. I’ve begun reading history books. Me! Interested in history! I’ll tell you what … if I had a dollar for every bottleneck. There are millions of bottlenecks out there. And shoe soles. Why so many shoe soles? Vintage boots, really. Pieces of vintage boots that were probably discarded between 1900-1930 or so? Thousands of them. My friend Kat asked, “Just like the Holocaust? You know, when they took all the shoes?” Yeah. It looks kind of like that. So now my interests have morphed again from china to weird little foundlings to vintage shoes pieces. These boot pieces tell the story of Grays Harbor’s logging industry, having been discarded near old mill sites. History in a boot. I’m documenting them on Tri-x film with my trusty Nikomat. Here, you get a glimpse in living COLOR. Ha!

Today Aberdeen’s Museum of History burned down. I feel like we all need to run out and grab stuff and preserve it and build again. Meanwhile, I’ll photograph my finds. I’m bringing a butt-wad of pinhole cameras down there over the summer to document tiny, muddy things. I like my images of the leather pieces but the leather pieces almost really speak for themselves. The river is the museum.

An absolutely ridiculous bottleneck lamp shade.

8 Responses

  1. I like your blog. I think that you just might be addicted. I’m searching for a service that can help you…

  2. What a wonderful blog…I totally get it ! Hidden high up on a hillside in the deep woods not too far from me is the remains of a brick factory. They made bricks from the early teens until the mid 1940s and then just disappeared. The buildings are gone except for foundations and some kilns are still hiding in the brush…but it is the bricks…thousands upon thousands of them…scattered over the forested hillside..all shapes and multicolored that just fascinate me. Some are mere parts and others are pristine bricks…and almost no one remembers the factory was here…and the people that worked there…and the projects they built. But I do…my photos take me back into the past and live for the future.
    Marcy Merrill…your images are important and your words ring true and you are the most amazing photographer I know. Thanks.

    1. Looking at those bricks, don’t you wonder if they’re from the original buildings themselves, or are they remnants of the factory’s product? Both? It’s always fun looking. Thanks for the comment and I ain’t so amazing as all that.

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