Thursday, August 7, 2008
Alex and I picked up my long time friend Warren Harnden down in Minden. He's a retired engineer, having worked for UC Berkeley's Lawrence Lab for 35 years and now an accomplished mountain man. We hiked Roundtop - about a 5.5 mile hike each way. Alex fished for a bit and caught a handsome trout - which he reluctantly released. By afternoon we were tired, but stopped in at the Minden airport to see some of the airplanes Warren works on in his retirement.
Sunday morning at 6am, Alex and I packed a few things and headed across the State. We’d been invited to Greg Gorman’s Mendocino studio to join them for dinner – and I had some business there as well. Among the things I packed up was my laptop. We made it out of the mountains in a blistering 40 minutes and blazed toward Sacramento. We pulled into Greg’s house at 11:30 – just in time to do some business, get settled, check into our hotel and dress for the afternoon party. As I unpacked the car – I recognized that my computer bag was not in the car. I remembered how full my hands had been as I hiked down from the condo and that I’d put some things down on the street to find the keys and unlock the car. OMG – I thought, could I have left my computer bag sitting on the road. And on the computer were all of my Italy images and worse, the entire wedding shoot – along with my backup hard drive and i-pod – an excellent find for nearly anyone. Long story short - for two days, I revisited my memory of my walk from the condo to the car – over and over, hoping to settle my mind on whether I was in real trouble.
I don’t get upset about too many things – don’t yell at crappy drivers and don’t pull my gun. I have to say, I was completely preoccupied for a good bit of the days and nights wondering how I might recover my computer – and the wedding images for which this trip had been planned.
After our race back from the ocean, I pulled up into the Galaxy Bowl to park and the four flights of stairs to the condo. I’d been planning in my head to type out a note and post it on every door and windshield on the mountaintop. There was of course a slim but plausible possibility that I’d left the computer on the kitchen table and only thought I’d brought it – my memory contrary to the worst - being supported by my strong intention to bring it.
I sent Alex up first – he being 17 and less influenced by the thin air here at nearly 8000 feet. I asked him to yell down to me whether the computer was in the house. I paused in the parking lot, leaning over the roof of the car waiting for Alex to complete the trek. He unlocked the door and went inside.
For what seemed like a lengthy few moments, he returned shaking his head as if saying “No” with arms outstretched as if he was in dismay – but alas, it is only my reading eyes that have failed me. I can still read a license plate for blocks – and saw the beaming smile Alex could not conceal. I left my computer on the table – and all was not lost. Thanks God – whoever you conceive him to be.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I shot my first picture of Joshua Yanity when he was two and a half years old – taken at the Dunbar Center on what then was Comal Street in San Marcos. His mother was my friend.
Somewhere in my house is a file of his chronology – from his childhood, through his adolescent years and into his transition to adulthood – good times and bad – in sickness and in health, Joshua Adam Yanity grew up.
On Saturday, August 2nd – he married Jillian to be his wife – until death do them part.
Alexey Sergeyev – Dillon
Alex is my next door neighbor. He was adopted from Russia in 2002. He is now just recently 17 years of age. Alex says my purpose in his life is to keep him out of trouble – but seriously(he laughs) – to show him how people can be great friends, loving and caring about each other, to teach him things that other people can’t teach him, to take him places where he would probably not get a chance to go in his life, to meet people he would probably not get the chance to meet. To teach him things that other people couldn’t – and how to enjoy life.
I was on a trip to Lake Tahoe to photograph Joshua Yanity’s wedding. Alex was in Chico with his grandparents and met me in Sacramento when I arrived. After a quick stop at the iHop, we were off to Lake Tahoe. About half way up Highway 50 we were in the forest with a pristine mountain stream to our side. To start our trip off right, we hiked down the roadside and hopped into the river. For ten days, Alex and I swam in the lake, hiked, went to a rehearsal dinner, shot a wedding, drove to Mendocino – had a great wine dinner, went to a photography workshop, hiked on the coast, and had dinner with Washek – my great mathematician friend from Czechoslovakia. Alex wins.