One of the most interesting shows I photographed was this rainmaker performing his magic in Madison County north of Asheville, North Carolina. One summer amidst a dry spell during the 1960s, the rainmaker was hired to open the heavens and make the rain pour down. The rain came.
After he collected his money, he disappeared that night just as quickly as he had come months earlier.
For weeks, he and Don Lockado had planned a big project together and had waited for money to arrive from some source known only to them. Their big scheme was to have a spaceship land in Madison County. But the rainmaker grew impatient waiting on the money to come through, and he left after this performance never to be seen again to my knowledge. I pointed out to Don that he couldn’t do the spaceship staging because federal officials would come to investigate and everyone would be in deep trouble. Don finally gave up the idea. Oddly enough, the money arrived the day after the rainmaker departed that would have fulfilled their dream.
Meanwhile, I had sent the pictures to Look magazine, but unfortunately they didn’t use the pictures because the staff thought in error that the rainmaker photo shoot was tied to the Broadway play The Rainmaker. Although I was paid for the series of pictures, they were stashed away some place in the magazine’s archives and never used. This one photograph survived in my old files, and I love it to this day. It’s a great photo.
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