When I moved from Portland, I went to Newport and lived there for 2 great years. As you can see from the photos, Newport is a fishing village and I lived on the water an my view was of the bridge you see, The Yaquina. I also met some real characters. The two fishermen you see are captains in fishing boats, and the musicians are great. One hosts a jam session on Sundays at this bar and they get some really talented musicians. The other one with the long grey beard is named Swede and Johnny Cash asked him to open for him one night after hearing him in some bar. Great guys all of them!
Newport also has a incredible 4th of July fireworks show and those were taken from my deck. Not too bad a life there. Just inland are some Oregon’s covered wooden bridges that are still in use. The final shot is of Thor’s well and you can see the large waves crashing from behind, and then the well catches the water and drains from below the well. Fascinating.
I love where I love. It is close enough to tourist areas that I can get the touristy things if I want them, but just far enough out that I do not have to put up with tourists all of the time. One of my favorite places is what I call the “Cowboy Bar” because there is a band who performs there and they wear cowboy hats. The banjo player asked me the first night what I would like to hear and I said Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. He did not blink or flinch and played it beautifully. I have taken them to Pai and they played at a friend’s barbecue. They are a great bunch of guys and I am lucky they are only a 8 minute walk from where I live. Here are a few photos of them. The girls are my friends from Vietnam and one of them is graduating from business school in Kyoto this September. She speaks Japanese, Vietnamese, and English. She is my “daughter” and means the world to me.
I used to live in Portland, Oregon. I spent a lot of time on the coast. One weekend I decided I wanted to learn more about the ships coming and leaving out of Portland and I had heard the Columbia River was one of the most dangerous for ships to navigate due to the high sand bars. Astoria is the main place ships have to wait for someone to help them navigate the ocean and Columbia River bars. There are bar pilots there and each ship requires two: one to help navigate the ocean into the Columbia, and one to navigate them up the Columbia.
I have really luck to meet some mazing people here. There is a factory in Doi Suket which produces Celadon ware. I love Celadon and really appreciate the artwork that goes into making it. When I first visited I got tour of the museum and I saw 2 mugs that I really liked, I inquired about them and the woman told me that the artist had died and out of respect for him, they no longer made this design. I knew right away I liked them. They subsequently asked me for some shots which I am sharing with you. I had prints made of all of the workers you will see and gave them to them. You would have thought from their gratitude I had just bought them a house,
Anyway, the first shot is of the owner feeding her chickens, each of whit has a name. The following shots are of the temple, the workroom and them working on their beautiful wares. I am told that even the princess has bought things here.
Anyone who has been to a Buddhist country has seen that Buddhism is very public and not limited to temples. The monks are out in public collecting food and donations and people get blessed on streets, in markets, wherever. Cremations are part of Buddhism and while they are not advertised and usually take place in Wats, they too are public and very much part of the culture.
I think some of us have wondered who might appear at our funeral. Will we be like Jay Gatsby where only his father and Nick appeared, or will it be a huge event? I have also wondered who prays for the homeless or those without families. I am not a religious person, but I have never heard of anyone in a Western country going to a ceremony for someone he or she did not know, let alone a homeless person or a person without a family. Such is not the case in Thailand.
I spent most of 2010 in Vietnam and became good friends with Quyen (as well as Trang) and their families. One day they made us lunch and they wanted to go shopping first at the market. The shopping took forever, which I would not have minded were it not 104 degrees. I think through at least an hour of haggling, they saved about $1. Anyway, they were determined to haggle and so it took forever. But, we got the meat and the vegetables and the three girls cooked us a wonderful meal. The woman with Quyen is her mother. After the meal, Quyen and Trang decided I had to take an image of them in front of the gate. Neither of them is camera shy.
I was asked to do a fundraising project in Sapa, Vietnam. I had read in the newspapers about cattle dying due to the cold there, but nothing was ever mentioned about the children’s’ situation. So, I eagerly accepted this challenge and got on the overnight train from Hanoi to Sapa. This was the first time in Asia that I wish I had long underwear! Do I me guide and we went to the school. I took the images that follow. After the gallery showing at which we raised money for the kids, I took the photos and a pocket full of cash and I bought them all boots and clothing. When I arrived, all they cared about was their photos. They did not care about the rubber boots I bought, nor the clothing. In all, we raised about $10,000 for them. It was all for about 2 days of my time visiting a place I wanted to see anyway. I know how lucky I am to be able to do what I do.
This one is a tough one for me to write because unless I was going to write a version of War and Peace, I cannot explain what Trang means to me and even then I would not do her justice. So, I hope my photographs do my talking for me. Some of these are from our time with her family and friends. I love her and always will.