The following frames are among my favorite shots from this Photo Elective series. They are photos of a defunct greasy spoon known as the Murphy House that sat before a swampy marsh up in the area where Westville ended.
The place was up for sale when I shot these negatives back in 1982, but I doubt if the ongoing highway and bridge construction did much to attract potential buyers.
It sort of reminds me of Psycho. Everything was fine for small businesses like this and the Bates Motel up the road a piece until the new highway came in and business dried up. Perhaps Norman Bates ate a place like this ordering a grilled cheese at the counter.
The Photo Elective
Back in the 1980s, I went to art school, and I along with all of the other illustration majors were required to take a minor course in photography. We had to shoot the photos as well as process the negatives and make prints. I don’t recall what the particulars of the class assignments were although I can tell from looking at the negatives which were the assignments and which ones were shot just to finish off a roll. The shots to finish a roll are a lot more interesting. While my fellow students mostly resided and shot their photographs in the vibrant metropolis of Philadelphia, I lived and did most of my shooting in and around the staid and solid small town of Westville, New Jersey.