We just returned from a cruise along the Rhine River, from Basel to Amsterdam. It was our “big vacation” for the year and the following posts will be my photographic essay, which I’ll break down by ports of call. First stop: Basel, Switzerland.
Basel’s central square was a colorful place – a hub for the many tram routes throughout the city. The beautiful red building is the Rathaus (Town Hall).
I just realized it has been several months since I’ve posted anything to my personal blog. This will be a quick photo-essay of my recent trip to Colorado during the week of May 28. My purpose in going was to attend a conference in Boulder titled “Aurora Multimedia Workshop: DSLR Filmmaking for Photographers.” I had recently acquired a Nikon D800 with video capability and wanted to explore the possibilities for creating video projects.
After the conference was finished, I took a personal day and drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ll show more photos from that day later in this post, but this was one of my favorites, so I’ll feature it here.
Our neighbor and friend, Christina Reeve, has hosted wonderful pre-Christmas dinners for a number of years. Chris, a culinary artist, is in charge of the food for these parties, aided by her friend Anita and cousin Gigi, who likewise know their way around a kitchen. Recently, Chris’ daughter, Jessica, (aided by Anita), decided to turn the tables and surprise Chris with a birthday party. Jessica is a director of culinary services for Bon Appetit, a top-flight catering company. As you might guess, the feast was wonderful.
I took along my camera and shot photos of the food. But what I most enjoyed was shooting the people. (I know that last sentence sounds a bit odd.) I enjoy recording the character in the faces of friends we have known and appreciated for many years. Most of my photos are un-posed candids; I simply try to capture a familiar expression. Sometimes they turn out well; sometimes they don’t. Here are the ones I particularly liked from Christina’s party (in no particular order). My apologies to the folks whose photos I missed — there’s always next time.
Christina Reeve — Our frequent host and nearby neighbor for thirty-four years. Apparently she is only three years old (or maybe thirty, if each candle stands for ten years).
Aunt Ruth passed away a few days ago at 97. Actually, Ruth Reese Dahle wasn’t my aunt; she was my mother’s aunt, but as she was only a couple of years older than my mother, she functioned more like my mother’s cousin.
Because I grew up in California, and Ruth lived in Utah, I didn’t know her well. I do recall seeing her at various Reese family reunions, always smiling and friendly. A few years ago I met her again and we talked about family history. Then I did one of those things you always wish you had done, but more often than not, you don’t. I set up an appointment to visit her in her home and interview her on camera about her father and how it was to grow up in the Reese household.
Ruth Maurine Reese Dahle (1914 – 2012)
I took this photograph on January 9, 2008 in Ruth’s Ogden home.
She was 93 years old at the time.
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As I was looking through some old files inherited from my parents when they passed away, I found an interesting letter. Not earth shattering, but fascinating to a historian. It was a three-page thank-you note written in April of 1950 from my maternal grandmother, Sarah Wanda Reese Ashcroft, to my paternal grandmother, Nelsine Martine Sorensen Thurston. Since several of my sisters were too young to have remembered much about their grandmothers, I thought they would enjoy this, as would all of our children, who never knew their great-grandmothers.
Wanda didn’t like to be photographed; she felt her thick eyeglasses emphasized
her somewhat protruding eyeballs, the result, I believe, of an eye illness.
This drawing was made three years before her note to Martina was written.
Dawn and I took a short vacation trip over the New Year’s weekend to West Los Angeles. This may sound strange considering that we live in Orange County, only about an hour’s drive from our vacation destination. But this has become an enjoyable tradition for us during the last several years. Not having to drive a long distance has its advantages and it is difficult to beat the Southern California weather. Perhaps if we were avid skiers we would feel differently.
What do we do? Mainly we catch up on end-of-the-year movies that are expected to contend for an Academy Award, many of which haven’t yet made it to the hinterlands of OC. We read, relax, check out the post-Christmas shopping sales, and eat. Then we go home.
One of the attractions of Santa Monica Pier is the Ferris wheel. This shot brought out the spectacular colors of the wheel against the brilliant blue sky, framed by the roller coaster.
This year I decided I wanted to go on a photo shoot one morning. After considering several possible destinations, I decided on Santa Monica Pier. It was a perfect day to go to the ocean — warm and sunny, the sort of day that cause out-of-towners to consider moving to Southern California.
My brother-in-law, Brad Parrett, visited us this week. As Brad and I both enjoy photography, we decided to go on a photo shoot somewhere in Orange County. The places we chose were the South Coast Metro area and Old Town Orange. Although the day wasn’t perfect for photography (it was sunny, but hazy), we had a good time and I got some decent photos. Here are some that I liked.
My career as a practicing lawyer was spent with Latham & Watkins, now a global firm with some 2,000 lawyers. When I began with the firm in 1970, however, there were less than 50 — all in the Los Angeles office of the firm. In 1977 I transferred to the Orange County office of L&W, its first branch office. Several years later we moved into the top floors of Center Tower — a prime location adjacent to the O.C. Performing Arts Center and one block from one of the world’s great shopping centers, South Coast Plaza. The above photo is looking up at Center Tower, the tallest building in Orange County.
I recently drove from Orange County to Granada Hills in the San Fernando Valley to visit my old high school. Our graduating class, which we named “Pristians,” is having its Fiftieth Anniversary Reunion next weekend on Catalina Island. I have been working on a reunion book and will MC the dinner event, so I thought it would be a good idea to do a little research and see firsthand what the school is like today. I was quite impressed by what I saw. Scattered throughout this post are photos I took during my visit.
I met with Granada Hills Charter High School Executive Director Brian Bauer and got an overview of the current state of the school.