Parting Shots: The Last Potluck

Da Vinci and a homecoming in Eastern Kentucky.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of an occasional series of photographs by Shawn Poynter, our former visual editor who left the Daily Yonder this spring to return to photography full time. Read Shawn’s Viewfinder interview or see more of his work on his website.

Not long into my work with the Center for Rural Strategies (which publishes the Daily Yonder), sometime in the mid-aughts, I started working on a project about race and values in Eastern Kentucky. The idea was to photograph racially diverse communities and look at how folks were making communities together in the mountains of Letcher County, Kentucky.

I had been to a couple services at the Corinth Baptist Church in Neon, a tiny church with a mostly black congregation. They were so small they had joined forces with a tiny mostly-white church down the road. Corinth would have services Sunday morning and members of the other church would join them. Then they traded venues for the Sunday night worship. Strength in numbers.

The churches invited me to their homecoming service, where everyone was to bring a dish for a potluck held right after service. As I was chatting with people in the eating area, which was in a room behind the pulpit, I noticed that they set up their serving table under a framed copy of da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” I took a couple pictures, worrying about the dim lighting.

As I sat back down, one of the preachers smiled. He said he had never noticed the coincidence of the real banquet table and the painted one.

 

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