For nearly five years I watched a small section of nature be converted into a Wawa gas station on the north-west corner of University and Quadrangle Blvd. It started out as dense growth full of oaks and cypress. Over the next four to five years, from June 2009 until the present day, the living land was mowed down, dug out, and then filled back in before being covered in asphalt, a gas station, and a steak house. So much for progress.
My documentation stopped sometime in 2012, around the time my camera equipment was stolen. I made the mistake of leaving it in my car, parked in my driveway one evening. When I got out next morning my old red Prius had been pretty thoroughly tossed, with my E-3, and E-1, and my two High Grade Digital Zuikos, the 12-60mm and 50-200mm. That incident, combined with my ongoing battle with pain, put an end to my documentation of the area. But by that time the destruction was pretty well done.
To add further insult to what happened, the land essentially sat idle for another year-and-a-half until the end of 2013/start of 2014 before the final construction took place. All told, it took whoever owned the land nearly five years to completely and utterly destroy its uniqueness.
Call me paranoid, but I have, over time, wondered if someone associated with this bit of environmental destruction didn’t take my license plate, find out where I lived, and come by to steal my gear. I stayed off of the construction property, only taking photos from other locations, but I was still questioned by the construction bosses as to what I was doing a number of times. Tense moments, but I kept a quiet profile and continued my documentation. That question will always remain in the back of my mind.