In 1960, writer John Steinbeck set out on a cross-country trip with his dog in hopes of experiencing America on a more personal level. In 2012, photographer Theron Humphrey did the same thing.
John Steinbeck took his findings and wrote his book Travels With Charley: In Search of America. Theron Humphrey took his and created a blog.
Just as Travels With Charley, my favorite book, has been a go to pick-me-up ever since I first raced through its pages years ago, Humphrey’s Maddie On Things is my new favorite place to find a smile when I need it most.
Humphrey’s blog, subtitled a super serious project about dogs and physics, consists of photographs of his coonhound (Maddie, of course) perched on various, for lack of a more specific category, things. While that may sound straightforward, Humphrey’s creativity combined with Maddie’s agility, balance and patience, result in pictures that are not only entertaining and telling, but just plain impressive.
This blog is actually just a subproject of Humphrey’s main goal. In his other blog, This Wild Idea, Humprhey aims to travel the country for 365 days, meeting one new person everyday and sharing their stories through photographs and interviews. Humphrey shows what he finds to be the story of America through the faces and words of those people he meets. However, based on the locations and character of the things on which Maddie perches in Maddie On Things, you can see another story, his personal story, of cross-country travel unfold.
So while Maddie On Things is not the great literary masterpiece I believe Travels With Charley to be, it is a new way to present the discoveries of a guy and his dog trying to see what America is really all about. And also unlike Travels With Charley, this story updates nearly every day.