Monday, January 25, 2010

Thoughts on Marie's Birthday

Image from Marie the movie

Today is Marie's birthday, the first since she died last year of an untimely heart attack. She was 55-years-old.

This last year has had the death of several friends including Kathy Arena and Marie Roby. Perhaps that is the natural order of life. We go decades with our friends around us, few if any of them die (except to accidents,) then people start dying until it is our turn.

Well, Marie's turn to leave came far too soon. She was a wonderful friend. She was my first wife's best friend. She was loved by many, including me, and we will not forget her. Today was her birthday. I almost always sent her a card. If heaven has an Internet connection; this will have to do.

As well as my first wife; Marie was preceded to heaven by her sister Martha. You know Marie was welcomed with open arms! Heaven is a better place for having her and this world is emptier for loosing her.

Last year I made this movie about Marie, that was shown at her funeral. I am sorry but it is heavy on photos from the 70's and the 90's because those are the only pictures in my vast collection that I had organized at the time.

[More Photos of Marie on Flickr]

Technorati Tags: , ,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Visit with family in Washington

Son Steve holding grandson Solomon; Click on photo to enlarge

In January 2010 we had a nice visit with Son Steve and his family in Washington state. We spent some time in Snohomish, went to Everett (where the bikini baristas are), went to my favorite wine store, saw some trains and visited the Boeing Museum. It was a lot of fun.

[More photos here on Flickr]

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our Ireland Tour Buddies Reunion

Click on image to enlarge

Last weekend we had a great reunion in Edmonds, Washington, the home of Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door tours, with some of our tour buddies from our 2009 tour to Ireland. About 12 folks who were on the tour were there. It was great seeing everybody and sharing memories.

[Click here to see more photos of reunion] | [Click here to see photos of Europe Vacation]

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today we went to the Boeing museum

Click on photo to enlarge.

It is an amazing museum. I could have spent a lot more time there. I think Sue, Steve and Luci were getting bored.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grandson Sol at Daycare

This morning eldest son Steve and I dropped Solly off at his daycare.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Steve, Rick and Ned Kelly

At the reunion Rick Steves holds a puppet of Ned Kelly while uber tour guide Stephen McPhilemy talks and entertains the crowd at Saturday's Rick Steves tour reunion.

Steve our great tour guide

Stephen McPhilemy at Saturday's Rick Steves tour reunion.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

My life's work; train photography

If anything can be said to be my life's work it is my train photography. My father took the photo to the left (click on that photo to enlarge) when I was 14. My father was a railroad man, the best kind, an engineer; and I totally was enthralled by his magic carpet made of steel. Both he and the train seemed bigger than life to me. He didn't just drive the train. He was the train.

I used to go to work with him and ride around at night on the diesel locomotives. I can still remember the sights, the sounds, the smells of those rides.

Photography for me started as a quest to capture those times. I became a photographer to take pictures of trains. Everything else came as an add on to that. It has been a hell of a ride. The Southern Pacific Railroad and the many images I have made of it are a small drop compared to the memories I have, for example; oil trains grinding through Tehachapi Loop at 5 miles an hour with the locomotives sounding like they're going to explode. To me, to this day, it all still seems bigger than life; like my dad.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Telling the stories of our lives

Click on photo above to enlarge.

In his book, Gone the Sun, Winston Groom wrote about how we lack a way to tell the real stories of our lives, he calls it a life certificate, that remains behind to tell more than the things like when we died, and the "Devoted Wife and Mother" we often see on grave markers.

Our past is more than a series of begats. Where we are here and now is the result of untold generations of people who lived lives, felt emotions, took great risks, did heroic things and even made tragic mistakes; mistakes that sometimes cost them their lives.

My first wife fell asleep at the wheel, apparently, while driving home late at night. Her life ended and the course of so many lives besides her own changed in a moment. The picture above is the only known photo of the day we eloped in 1975, the day after her 18th birthday. I was 19. I discovered the negative to this photo Friday night while going through my old negatives from 1975. I did not know it existed.

I am remarried to a wonderful woman, Susie is the best thing to ever happen to me. Still, we all lived very different lives before and it has passed to me to tell my children and their children the story of both my life and their grandma Candy's life. If not me, then who?

I want that story to be more than dates, names and facts. I want it to be a living thing. I am trying to tell it the way I know best; with pictures. I have a little album here on flickr. As I find more photos I am going to add to it:

To see more click here: this is the start of a story of another time and another place, not that different than our own.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


On New Years Day Sue and I went to see Riverdance in San Jose. It was our Christmas gifts to each other. We had fourth row seats and loved the show. This video was from a similar performance a few years ago. The river dance number was performed right before intermission.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Not hardly handicapped

Click on photo to enlarge.

I had an argument with the driver of this car. He pulled right into the Starbucks Parking Lot in Saratoga Old Town, parked in a handicapped space, and went into the Starbucks to order a drink. No, he wasn't handicapped. He swore at me and called me a jerk for complaining about HIS parking in a handicapped space. Yes, there were vacant street spots 50 feet away. Then he sped off out of the parking lot. I guess if you are young, rude and have the California License Plate 4HPK997 (with expired tags) the world is your oyster.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Rain Drops on Calla Lilly

Click on photo to enlarge.

On the morning of December 27, 2009, the day that we would have celebrated my mom's 90th birthday had she been alive, I was out in front of our house thinking of my mom. The morning was wet with rain the night before and the air was crisp with morning sunshine. It was then I saw the raindrops on the Calla Lilly leaves and I had to run in and grab my camera.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

(Click on Picture Above to Enlarge)

Hope everyone is having a great New Year! We had a quiet New Years so far which is about to change, we are going to see Riverdance tonight. Speaking of dancing we were watching two of our grandkids earlier this week while Jeff and Nicole went out. We had a great time. At one point we found a disco station and Sue and the kids did disco dancing while eating bananas. It was silly fun.