Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Man's Trash...

San Bernardino -- Recently, I was guilty of making an "alley dump" with an old sofa. Perfect for a college student or someone not interested in spending any money. Boats on the other hand are quite another story. The boys saw this old, discarded ski boat and had to take it for a test ride. The driver in the green cap kept a close eye on the passing truck while he pulled his skiing buddy behind.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Feet

Pasadena -- A summer day, a bunch of kids and a pool is a recipe for fun.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Friend

For months I've had "photographers block." Not that there's been a lack of subjects to shoot, rather, few of the photos I taken have a good story. What better story to tell than one of a person rather than an object.

My friend Sam and I met at Venice Beach, California. He was living in and working a program in Skid Row, downtown Los Angeles, while I was handing out free bagels and sharing the Gospel to the local street vendors. One Saturday, Sam approached me and asked if he could help. For the next year, we worked side by side, feeding people and listening to their stories. Those were good times.

Sam is now living out of state but I recently had a chance to meet with him again. It had been nearly six years and it was nice to catch up with him.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Those were magic times when I was a kid. No better day than the last day of school and the beginning of summer. Although we still had to pick up our rooms, take out the trash and do odd jobs to help pay for miscellaneous toys, at least we knew we were free to roam the neighborhood in search of adventure.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Road Tripping

Continuing a theme on missed towns, Calico Ghost Town is one of those tourist attractions dad might suggest during a family road trip. All us Angelinos (residence of Los Angeles) have seen the white sign on the mountain side reading, "CALICO" on our way to Las Vegas. Interstate 15 is a bit boring, but the side trips on lonely desert roads like--Route 66--is what Hollywood movies are made of.

As a side note, Ken added that Calico was used as the model for Knott's Berry Farm back in the 1950s.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Roadside Americana

Banning -- The road was lined with American flags, proudly waving in the gusty wind. Two men were pushing a rusty pickup truck while a woman and her grandson waited patiently for the next bus in the 92-degree sun. Next time--on a day off--I should spend a day in this town to explore. Funny how we neglect small towns while en route to another big city....

Banning is about 90 minutes from Los Angeles along Interstate 10 near Palm Springs.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Canadian Spirit

Ontario, Canada -- I had two hours to kill before attending a wedding in Thorold, Ontario. So I parked my rental car and took a walk, introducing myself as, "JT from Los Angeles."

Word spread throughout the venerable town that an "LA guy" was taking photos of their town. During my short stay, I made many friends and learned a whole lot about the town and local folks. The people were friendly and eager to let me know that I was not like the stereotype, Californians they watch on TV. In many ways, I felt like an ambassador to Los Angeles; we are not all movie stars, not all rich, and certainly not all typical city folk.

Someday I hope to return to Thorold, or perhaps another welcoming, Canadian town and document the experience of meeting good people.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A View of Vernon

Los Angeles -- Visitors often criticize cities by what they see from out their car window while driving along highways. I too am guilty of drive-by judgment while passing through a seedy part of town. LA's 710 freeway offers motorist a multitude of interesting sights from overpasses, including graffiti art and rundown buildings from the early 1900s. One cannot appreciate the charm and history of most towns unless you exit the freeway and explore. Of course, judgement still plays an important role in choosing what area to exit.... A blue sky helps take the edge off too.