When I first entered the home of Dr. Charles Quarles in Forest City, NC it was rather unassuming. From the outside it was just another ordinary ranch style home on a long suburban street. The first floor was carefully decorated with antique furniture, landscape paintings are hung on the wall and I could hear I Love Lucy playing on the TV in the kitchen.
Then Mr. Quarles invited me downstairs and things quickly become out of the ordinary. His 1000 sq ft basement is packed to the brim with one of America’s largest private collections of airline memorabilia. He has incredibly detailed model airplanes, mannequins with original stewardess uniforms on and he even has old packets of cigarettes and chiclets the airlines used to hand out. The collection is without a doubt incredibly valuable, but it’s Mr. Quarles’s passion for it all that is so apparent when you spend time with him down there.
I photographed Dr. Charles Quarles for the most recent issue of Our State Magazine as part of an article on Piedmont Airlines. A big thank you to Sam Shumate for helping me out on this shoot. It wasn’t easy maneuvering lighting gear in such a delicate and tightly packed space.