Karla Jean Davis is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and former long-time Turner Studios freelancer. Right now, she's discovering a domestic side. In the past 10 months she's had a kid, bought a house (with husband James Abercrombie), and turned 30. Karla readily admits setting herself up for all those 1950s housewife jokes dispensed by her (mostly male) colleagues. Ha. Ha.
My father gave me this book of prayers from his antique book library. It was published in 1916. 365 different clergy and laymen contributed to this daily devotional (what an editing job!), and each prayer is about one minute long. The prayers are beautifully articulated; there is such a simple elegance to them. I love the idea of great men of faith all coming together to submit their own individual thoughts to God, perhaps in worship with others. Some are more general, some more specific, and some are certainly more apt than others, but it is an amazing collection.
There's a theme running through my life, and it's an old pair of shoes. Of course, this theme has other forms: a rant on lost architecture, a graveyard stroll, vast photo archives...the fact that I spent two years making a black-and-white silent movie. The theme is appreciation, and the result is an over-developed sense of nostalgia. It's easy to romanticize a time when everything around you demonstrated earnest work and thoughtful design. And it's difficult to forget times in your life when you're aided by the memory of a certain shirt, a particular dress, and how they felt. This sentiment extends to my closet, where 70% of items are vintage, secondhand, or otherwise old––still around to show off their great workmanship.
I have had these Reeboks since 1993. My mom bought them to be my 7th grade gym shoes. I still think about the butterflies and stomach-wrenching nervousness of that period of my life, a lot of which was experienced in gym class. This pair of shoes is one of the most meaningful items I own, both because of what they symbolize as well as because I still wear them every time I run. The current state and use of these old gym shoes, however, only demonstrates my own lack of hard work, at least in the physical education department.
This bottle opener belonged to my grandfather, Carl Fulton. It was in a box my mother gave me after he passed. Carl lived in Cartersville, GA and worked at the Goodyear tire plant all of his life. They shut the plant in 2003 and it was recently bulldozed, but it used to be a big part of life in Cartersville. I like to think about what things were like for him and my grandmother back then. I didn't know Carl very well, but I know he was a "simple pleasures" kind of guy. It makes me smile, having this little owl at our bar to open soda pop or beer for guests. I keep thinking about this dapper picture of Carl in a smoking jacket, looking like Clark Gable. I'd like to think that man would pull up a chair at our house and have a drink.
photos by Jason Travis