david schrott is everywhere

Memorial Day

Posted in Uncategorized by thebreakfastdictator on 05/30/2016
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Wayde & Uni, Ankeny Iowa

So the summer of 2016 has begun! What a great time of year. This weekend was just unbearably hot, which is exactly how I like ’em. We just got back from Iowa a few weeks ago and it got me to thinking about my first trip to Iowa, which is now almost ten years ago. Ten!

2006 was this oddly pivotal summer for me. I wasn’t doing much photography (for pay), I wasn’t doing much drywall; I think there was about a 52 day stretch where there was no drywall work. We watched a lot of World Cup, smoked a lot of cigarettes, went cliff jumping at the Delta quarry as often as we could and I meandered around the midwest in my VW GTI listening to The Format & General Sherman (how I could afford to do that without working is anyone’s guess).

This was the summer that Prince Street Cafe was under construction and when Square One was really the only spot downtown to hangout. One night we meandered around the city in the rain and smoked under the awning of the Lancaster Futon Building, wondering what was being built behind the brown-papered-windows. So much has changed since then.

I drywall (and paint) mostly every day. I still barely take photos for pay, and hardly take them at all. Wayde got married & has 3 kids; I got married & have one. As a result of my first trip, Zach married a girl from Iowa!

That summer was so crazy. It set the path for so many future events. Who knew…?

 

 

2014

Posted in Fine Living Lancaster, Personal Work by thebreakfastdictator on 02/23/2015

November Songs (1)

Posted in family by thebreakfastdictator on 11/10/2014

Ten years ago, things were so different here. The city was gritty. There were as many vacant buildings as occupied ones. On the first block of North Prince stood the old Futon Building, full of junk and old frames. We bought some birds and named one Burt Reynolds. He was our favorite; a small white dove bought at Pete’s in the Italian Market of Philadelphia for eight bucks. It seemed a common thing whenever I went to buy birds there. It must have been four or five times at least. Each time, Pete would grab the birds mercilessly and shove them in my dad’s 50 year old bird cage. He had fond memories of that cage. He had a little bird named Blue Boy that he would sing and whistle to in my great-grandparent’s house on top of Milford Street. Those are so remarkably some of his best memories. He talks about his grandparents more fondly than anyone else. Neither of them were alive by the time I was born. By all accounts they were these remarkable Catholic people and when I think of it, my heart is moved toward sadness for having never known them.

They built their house from sticks sometime in the 40’s. Johnstown was peaking then. Somewhere along the line, I took some black and white photos of the house. Someday I’ll get around to finding and scanning them. But probably not. It seems like that’s the way it goes. Good intentions are always just good intentions.

Von Steel

Von Steele

Years ago, on a cold Good Friday, we meandered out of Pittsburgh, 70 miles southeast, to the place where we came from. We got a family history lesson that I’ve long since forgotten but thankfully wrote down in my beat up, handmade journal. He built his house in fifty-nine and has lived there ever since. The old wood-stove still churns in the winter. The crucifixes and icons line the walls. I think the kitchen table was purchased in fifty-nine as well, and if not, not too damn far afterwards. The cabinets almost surely have never been replaced but why would they be? Cabinets are cabinets and if they hold things why do they need replaced?

There are these days where my dad looks and acts more and more like my grandfather and my nephew looks like a mini-my-dad and like he was cut and pasted right out of a photo of me from 1984. I guess I am my dad and Von is my dad and we all are my grandfather and his father and his father’s father and his grandfather’s father; reaching all the way back to Austria now, the details get hazy, like the descent out of the West Virginia mountains on an early autumnal day.

Have you ever been to West Virginia? The stereotypes are true. All of them. And it doesn’t take more than a half mile off the interstate to realize it. People do live in campers. There are dirt roads that lead to nowhere and not everyone is all that friendly. It is a wonderful place to be though; the Second Coming of the American Shire. The sharp green slopes eternally cascade into the horizon line, covered with peak autumn leaves. Find a road, make a right, another right, then a left and you won’t see anyone for hours, maybe days. The beauty and stillness will suck you in. Has anyone even stepped foot here before? It’s hard to believe. It must have been this way for the frontiersmen and their families too. We are the new frontiersman, longing for a simple life and natural beauty.

Nowhere, or Somewhere, West Virginia.

Nowhere, or Somewhere, West Virginia.

Now, we are home and just a few weeks later we find out that my wife is pregnant. If it is a boy, what will he father like? And what will I father like? He will be cut from me and me from my dad and him from Francis and him from Karl and Karl from his father and, are we in Austria yet? I don’t quite think so; I know it’s beautiful there but is it as beautiful as West Virginia? I bet it is and they likely don’t have sprawl. Even the prettiest places have their ugly corners. There’s bound to be a place they call Backwards, but maybe backwards is forwards and progress is a myth.

In high school, I learnt that our last name meant scrapped metal in German. How long does that name go back and what was our grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather doing? Was he a blacksmith? A junkman? A weapons-maker? A trash-man? There were no automobiles back then, he couldn’t have been the Austrian Henry Ford, but maybe he was. Maybe he was a genius in another way. Or maybe he was a working stiff like the rest of us. Blue collar to blue collar deep into the soul.

The sun is peaking up now and the what’s-left-of-it coffee is getting chilled. There’s a fifty-five mile ride ahead and another blue collar day lurking beneath that low-setting November sun. To-day’s beauty will be roiled by Thursday’s winter preview, but that Austrian husk beneath our flannel will prod us on. So we can father the fathers.

Rooster Street Finals

Posted in B&W Photography, Farm Life, Lancaster by thebreakfastdictator on 12/26/2013

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Rooster Street Provisions (2)

Posted in B&W Photography, Farm Life, Lancaster by thebreakfastdictator on 09/30/2013
Rooster Street Provisions | Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Rooster Street Provisions | Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Tony and Kristina make an excellent pork product. So honored to have shot some recent photos for their business’ self-promo.

Sweet Annie Produce

Posted in Farm Life, Lancaster by thebreakfastdictator on 05/14/2013
Ben DeGaetano

Ben DeGaetano | Sweet Annie Produce, Lancaster Pa

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