mica

stories

passion projects of mine

I was 18 years old the first time I left Texas. I went to Los Angeles to compete in a slam poetry contest. What I remember most about Los Angeles were from the photos I took with 6 rolls of film. The moment I stepped off the plane in L.A, I knew that there was a world much larger and much bigger than Texas. I wanted to see it all, experience it all and photograph everything. Over the years as I traveled more, I found it easier to share my travel stories through photographs than to talk about them.

During a long road trip, my husband and I made a bucket list of countries we'd like to visit before we die. The first on that list: Madrid, Spain.

My first international trip, and my husband's first in over a decade, we spent fourteen days exploring, gorging on tapas and jamón, sipping the richest coffee, and eating churros for breakfast on a daily.

From the fast city life in Madrid to the colorful cultured city in Malagá to the sleepy, relaxed town of Toledo, Spain is the most colorful place I've ever been to. My heart still years for Spain, but these memories will tide me over until next time.

 






If you grew up in South Austin then you should know about the Williamson Creek Cemetery on Little Texas Lane. If you're a transplant and you didn't know it was here, you wouldn't know it was here. Unless someone pointed it out to you. I came here to photograph an assignment, but I ended up staying and taking a closer look at all of the headstones.

It's eerily beautiful and peaceful out here. You see the surrounding world, it's busy, cars are zooming by, there are restaurants all over, but when you step inside this cemetery, it's just...quiet. It's beautiful in a sad way. You see these headstones, and you wonder if their families know that they're here. The cemetery grounds are unkempt, it's not like that in other cemeteries in Austin. The grass is usually green, cut, watered and trimmed, but then you come here, and it's disorganized. You don't know who's buried here, there are a few headstones that have sunk halfway into the ground, and many of them don't have any writing or markings. It's just a blank headstone. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for newly freed slaves trying to reconnect with lost relatives. For most slaves, your family became the other slaves you worked alongside with on plantations. And for these slaves, this plantation was the home of Judge Sebron G. Sneed.

I learned of this cemetery many years ago when I was in high school. This road, Little Texas Lane, used to be a small dirt road. There was nothing here. Then the movie theatre across the street opened and all of a sudden things started opening everywhere. It wasn't long before developers tried to buy this cemetery when a group petitioned to the City of Austin to make this cemetery a historical marker. The group argued that this cemetery is a staple in Austin's history, it should be preserved, not torn apart. They succeeded, and now it's safe forever. I love to tell this story because this is one of the few times that our history wasn't erased. I'm sure these developers thought that no one would care about this cemetery "with a bunch of slaves" and that the people buried here were forgotten. But somebody did remember and somebody did care. Thanks to them, a little piece of Austin is here to stay.



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E. mica@micamccook.com