Growing up as kids in 1980’s Appalachia, we learned to entertain ourselves with what we had in front of us. A washing machine in the front yard became a rocket ship. An old carburetor, a time bomb. In a place generously bestowed with yard cars and gunpowder, the entertainment solutions for young boys were both limited and self evident. To me it is no surprise that the demolition derby is (and remains) the top billing attraction at county fairs across the region.
But things are changing in Appalachia: Backyard forts have given way to Fortnite and the steel chassis monster cars of the 20th century are being replaced by plastic imports. For the past four years I have documented the Bedford County Fair Demolition Derby to capture the lives of these modern motor gladiators.