Rounding the long corner off of the Glenn Jackson Bridge and onto highway 14, I looked in my rear view mirror and spotted a black Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe accelerating around the clover leaf. By the time we merged onto 14, the Rolls had pulled up alongside me and was matching the speed of my e30 station wagon. Cruising with the windows down, I deciphered the unmistakable words, "DO YOU WANT TO SELL?" blared over the hum of the Roll's v12 and the whine of the e30's tiny four cylinder. "MAYBE" I screamed back. "Pull OVER." Downshifting, I let off the gas and coasted on to the shoulder. The e30's cloth Design Edition interior was too nice for my dog, and in all honesty, too nice for me. There's a cruel irony of appreciating and desiring beautiful things only to destroy them once you get your hands on them. Despite adoring this 1993 BMW e30 Touring, I knew that my lifestyle was about as compatible with it as a white shirt at a spaghetti buffet. Coasting to a stop, I put on the hazards, pulled the hood catch and opened the door. "I happen to have cash on me, how much do you want for the car?" Manny, as the early thirties man of Eastern European descent, opened the conversation. After ten minutes of back and forth, Manny and I agreed on a price, and I headed home to grab the title. In a Lowe's Parking lot, I counted stacks of 20's and 50's as a stream of onlookers approached the spectacle of the 6'6, 300 pound man wearing a tall tee, basketball shorts and Gucci loafers standing next to his idling Phantom. "Real estate." "Used Cars." "Property Management." He offered a different explanation for the origins of his wealth to each of the onlookers, answering questions that I too was curious about but I cared not to ask. "It's all here," I said, stuffing the last of the rubber banded stacks into my pockets and crawling out of the backseat. On the ride home, I told the bizarre circumstances to the uber driver. "I didn't make any money," I explained, "but I didn't lose any either. It was a wash" Despite my frankness, he didn't believe me until I pulled a stack of 20s out of my pocket and tipped him cash. These photos are from that day.
Some talking point ideas for family dinners, down time and post meal walks this holiday season, courtesy of the PROFESSOR @moviemountain . In order of appearance, Terrence McKenna, “Hot” Carl Sagan and Neil Tyson.
I didn't have much time for reading when I was in school or when I had a normal job. To further complicate things, I'm dyslexic, which makes me to this day, read slowly. When I finally had time and the inclination to read for fun in my early 20s, I ran through books feverishly. From "The Rise and the Fall of the Third Reich '' to collections of stories by Flannery O'Conner, I was constantly listening to audiobooks. Along the way, I picked up this quote by Hunter Thompson, "I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I." I repeat it to damn near anyone that will listen, mostly because it captures my thoughts on staying positive through the strikes and gutters of life but also, because as a visual person, the desire to have these highs and lows stored for future viewing drives me to pull out my camera and take a picture. Here are some scans from the end of summer 2023.
I ordered a 12 ounce cold brew with room and stood in a pre caffeine daze, scanning the assortment of remote workers and early morning exercisers in a small coffee shop in Bend. The undercernable hum of music playing on the soundsystem transitioned to quiet and then a long forgotten Fleet Foxes song came on. To my ears, the song's campy, unbridled optimism felt as dated as a yellowing fax machine. Did it feel the same to the rest of the people working away on their laptops, or am I uniquely calloused and cynical, the product of aging from 23 to 35? Continuing my gaze around the shop, I searched for even the subtlest hint that someone else felt a tinge of awareness or uncomfort. A lone woman chatted on her ear pods, seemingly speaking to herself. No one broke their cycle of staring at their devices and occasionally taking a drag of their beverage. After a few minutes, "Cold Brew for Foster," brought me back from my daze and I grabbed my coffee, poured a splash of half and half into it and headed back to my truck. For the few last months, on long drives and spare moments throughout my day, I've wrestled with the question of what happened to this optimism felt by many of my generation, and best captured by the energy around the emergence of social media as a way to democratize the internet, the Occupy Movement and a unassuming geezer from Vermont named Bernie Sanders. What killed it, when exactly did it die? Somewhere along the way, that demand and hope for change shifted from questioning the amount of wealth and power in the hands of a few or imagining a different vision for the natural world around us, to swapping one sweatshop made bathroom sign to one without genders, and calling it progress. "At least the coffee's good," I murmured to myself as I took a swig and I pulled out of the parking lot. Summer 2023 thoughts and photos Part 1.
10 years ago, I was finishing up a photo project that would turn into the book pictured here. The car camping world was a different beast. The first two publishers I presented the idea of doing a photobook on vans passed on the idea without giving it a second look. There wasn't a billion dollar industry building, and outfitting vehicles and there certainly weren't people making a living creating content around the activity. There were, however, thousands of people living and traveling in their vehicles simply to do it and during the span of summer of 2011 to fall of 2013, I would pull a U-turn and photograph any interesting vehicle I saw. I took the photos mostly on a Mamiya 7 that I bought used at a camera store in Portland and eventually passed on to @jamesbarkman . After getting rejected by traditional publishers, I decided to reach out to @victoryjournal about making the book on my own terms and fund it with a @Kickstarter . In the Fall of 2013, I flew to New York with a harddrive full of scans and worked on the design of and layout at their Brooklyn Office. Friends of mine roll their eyes when I say this quote, but T.S. Elliot once captured the process of coming up with an idea and then executing it when he said, "Between the Idea and the Reality, Falls the Shadow." He was probably referring to something far more important and beautiful than making a photobook about people living in their vehicles, but out of all of the projects that I've done, the shadow of Home Is Where You Park It is the smallest. When I meet a person and partake in the proverbial dogs sniffing each other's ass that involves showing prior work, the first thing I reach for is Home Is Where You Park It. Today, I make a living filmmaking and don't put much energy into photo books. My self published books aren't for sale and I have any plans to print anymore. Every now and then I'll get a message with a link to a copy of Home Is Where You Park It on Amazon or Ebay for a price that you could buy a shitty car for and scratch my head in disbelief. I have a few hundred copies of the book stashed away for a rainy day and just put them on my webstore, Link in BIO.
February 23: Two road trips, a birthday, a few snow storms, the loss of two friends (one two legged one four), three surf sessions, a four rolls of film and catching up with friends up and down the west coast.
Winter road trips require a bit different strategy. Attractions are vacant or closed for the season. Cops are more understanding and less weary of travelers. The weather is often shit and the days are short. Instead of finding spots to cool down, you look for places to warm up. "Sit anywhere you like," greets you. Crawling into a sleeping bag a few hours after sunset means you fall asleep before 8 and wake up before twilight. In December and early January, I logged five thousand miles driving around the West Coast running from the doldrums of seasonal spin out. With friends riding shotgun, we talked about the left's cognitive dissonance, the widening gap between urban and rural life and the magic of Lee Scratch Perry. On my solo trips, I listened to audiobooks, called old friends during periods of solid cell service and played albums from years past. The joy of a winter road trip is nurtured by the idea that in a few months, the same trip could be more fun. For the fellow car nerds out there, in order of appearance, I drove my 1994 R32 GTR recently spit shined by @tommyfyeah , my 2001 Ford F350 with a @fourwheelcampers , with a recently rebuilt front end courtesy of a snow covered dirt road on Hart Mountain and the fine folks at @fitgarage , and my bad dad mobile, a 2000 Volvo v70R.
I heard the distinctive crack of a window breaking and jumped out of bed. From the deck of the tree house, I watched in shock as flames leaped out of the windows on either side of the sauna. For 45 minutes, my brother and I fought the flames with a hose and buckets of icy water from the hottub. My chest sucked freezing air and my ears pounded. Eventually, Tim and I acknowledged the inevitable and our pace slowed. There was no stopping the fire, a fact that I had known, but not admitted, the moment I first saw the yard lit by the dancing light. Taking turns with the hose, we stood quietly until the volunteer fire department rumbled up the hill in their old Ford to put the coals out. The last sauna session was a good one. Thank you for the good memories and making the long winters more fun. You will be rebuilt in the spring.
There’s been enough snow on the ground for the last week that despite being the first week of December, fall is over. Long live fall 2022. Here are some portra 400 scan taken over the last few months in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
On November 24th, 1971 a man, now known by the alias DB Cooper, boarded a Boeing 727 headed from Portland to Seattle and solidified his place as one of the most mysterious criminals in modern American History. For those unfamiliar with DB, I recommend you grab a cup of coffee and go down a Wikipedia rabbithole. In short, he hijacked the plane for 200k and parachuted out of the plane somewhere in the mountains between Washougal and Stevenson Washington. He was never found. 51 years later, in the very area where he disappeared, a cedar tree died close to my house on the Washougal River. @afewithtrees demanded we take it down. Heart broken, I knew there was only one thing we could do. Thanks to @rmailand and @nightjarillustration for honoring the legacy of the Northwest’s very own Robin Hood so well. What happened to DB? Did he die that night in the woods of Washington or escape to Mexico and live out his days drinking margaritas and surfing? Who knows. The song Diamonds are Forever performed by Shirley Bassey came out the same week DB disappeared with a briefcase filled with 200 thousand dollars. Coincidence? I think not. DB Cooper, 1971 to Infinity. If you want to share a cold one, or a hot one, with this DB Cooper shrine, it’s available on Airbnb in the link in my profile.
The last days of August and September go by like a quarter tank of fuel in an area with few gas stations. Visit the friend you haven’t seen in years or meet a new one for the first time. Enjoy a burger as the sunsets ever earlier with windows down and the AC going. Is this the final skinny dip of the year? No there will be a few more. Living in the northwest, the summers feel like perfection with an urgency known only to people from an area that’s grey eight months a year. Summer time and the living was easy all shot on my Fuji Klasse with Portra 400.
In 2020, I bought a broken down old cabin built in 1919. It needed a ton of work, but was in a beautiful place at the convergence of creek and the Washougal River. Over the last two years, a some of my close friends and family fixed up the property and took breaks to swim in the water falls and river and cook on the stone BBQ. The property is now for rent on @airbnb . It sleeps 8, has its own swimming hole, wood burning hot tub, river rock bbq, extensive record and vhs collection (the prior came with the property and the ladder is curated from the Movie Mountain collection) and a fire place for fall and winter nights. It’s about 40 minutes east of the Portland Airport. If you have wild rental somewhere and would want to trade some nights, hit me up. I have the travel bug and would love to see some interesting places after being relatively sedentary for the last few years. Here are some photos from the process. The link to the listing is in my profile.
“And when you're sitting there, In your silk upholstered chair. Talking to some rich folks that you know. Well, I hope you don't see me in my ragged company”—The early days of summer, shot on Porta 400 and my fuji 35mm point and shoot.