Black and White portrait of vintage car restorer Bill Spencer, Utah
This is Bill. We came across Bill while on our trip of the South West on Route 89.
'When David and I first saw Bill's yard from afar we were a bit cautious. We were in the middle of nowhere in Utah when we came across this incredible junk yard of old cars. And I mean incredible. Literally, 1 - 200 cars littered over acres of land. This was heaven for David, but we cautioned up to the house, where we were expecting the owner to come out with a shot gun telling us to get off his land. But what happened was exactly the opposite.
Bill came out and welcomed us and after spending some time with him and exploring his property we realized there was nothing scary about him and nothing junky about his yard. His place was a haven for all things tossed aside, a sort of resting place for beaten up Fords, Chevys and cars I'd never heard of. And Bill was their maintenance angel. While David got lost in the utter beauty of these once revered hunks of metal, I was fortunate to be the ear to Bill's joys and woes.
He spoke about his late wife who died almost two decades ago. His voice quivered as he reminisced about their love and how his home brings him true happiness. He's happy because people like us are in awe of his locomotive family. As our faces light up from the rusted orange paint on a 1964 Rambler station wagon his eyes smile a beautiful twinkle. He speaks about companionship, his dog Luke, the farmland his Mormon family has harvested on for over a century. He talks a bit about his religion but not at all in a preachy way, just as a man who feels blessed.
David is now finished with his second roll of film and wants so badly to stay into the evening and shoot some more but it's off to Bryce Canyon we must go. I hug Bill, he gives us a bag of freshly ripened apples from his farm and says "come and stay anytime and I'll teach you all about my cars". I asked if I can take his photo and he blushes. He agrees only if his pup Luke is in it with
him, "I'm a pretty ugly guy but Luke here is good lookin'".
We say goodbye to Bill and as David and I walk back to our car I can't help but cry. I wasn't sad exactly. I was more moved by his openness to be truthful. It seemed, that day, we stumbled upon more than just beautiful, tossed out cars. We got to meet Bill - a man so full of raw kindness it will move you tears'