Santa Catalina

There's a far away land in the middle of the ocean called Catalina Island. A place where dreams are born, grand stories are lived, and an excitement and energy of those who have come and gone can be felt in the streets, the ocean, and the breeze. It's a land that I've grown up hearing about from my parents who once inhabited the island. A place I've always wanted to touch with my own bare feet, to see with my own two eyes, to walk into a story of my own. Santa Catalina, I'm ready for you.

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Against All Odds

My parents moved to Catalina Island in the 1970s to work as lobster fisherman. It was a grand year consisting of no money, just a heart yearning for experiences and adventure, new connections with ideas different than their own to expand their minds and fill their souls. They came back with stories to tell of great white sharks swimming close beneath them, being lost in the middle of a fog-enveloped ocean on a small boat with no compass, no motor, only the strength and will to make it across the sea to their destination unharmed. Stories of wealthy people stealing from their traps just for fun, when my parents depended on every penny of their catch for survival. Stories of the wealthy with full hearts who made them a deal, an opportunity that would allow them to stay on the island and live out their dream.

They never ate out or went to the bar. There were meals of canned tomato soup and water, and at the end of the week if they had enough money their friends would all pitch in to buy one small bottle of liquor, a celebration of their hard work, of their making it work one extra week against all odds.

So now it's over 40 years later and they're returning to the island with their family. They've lived many chapters of a fulfilling life. They've been through extremes of struggle, happiness, sadness, life, death, and illness. This time they're able to buy a drink at the bar and eat at the restaurant. They see the island from yet a different view.

I watch them as they stand in the middle of the brick street, cafes on the left, ocean on the right. They hold each other, staring off into the bustling street. I wonder what they're thinking. I watch them and think to myself - WOW... what a LIFE lived, what a FULL life lived...and together this whole time, against all odds.

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Comfort (Self Portrait)

The West Coast. A beautiful, grand, magical land where you are constantly reminded of how small you really are. And in that reminder you find comfort.

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Red Suit

Location: La Jolla, California

Subject: A slim 93 year old retired gallery owner, full head of grey hair, neatly styled. Everyone around is casually dressed except for him. He's owning it in his dapper red suit & silk scarf stylishly tied around his neck.

Me: I really like your suit.

Fellow: Why thank you. You know, all I own is this red suit and pair of blue jeans. (Smiles)

As my imagination runs wild I see him in the past when he was younger. Such a cool, suave guy, in a red suit of course.

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