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THE PURPLE DOOR

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  I walked down the purple hall each day, past the door with no name. I wondered what it hid, what opening it might mean. Maybe the color put me off, as so many other opportunities that passed me by. Purple they say occurs rarely in nature. The mixture of deep blue and fiery reds different from the other more gentle blends of everyday colors. Its meaning associated with ambition, power, and mystery, sometimes worn by winners, nobles, and royalty.  I guess I felt that way about so many things, sensing the opportunity they might represent, but questioning myself, was I up to taking the risk and finding a winning way. So I walked by each day, until one, when I reached for the handle of the door with no name…

LEVEL CROSSINGS

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  They say that when you find a town that has level crossings, you know it’s been left behind. These street level RR crossings are notorious for accidents. Trains never stop for them. Railroad companies have decided an area does not have enough promise to build an overpass. Level crossings tie up commerce, relegating residents to wait for trains to pass before moving around. Where once a hub of business existed, level crossings can backwater a place. Still these towns hold on, trying to race the train, to survive. All against the rumble of trains passing through…

KERSHAW CORNERS

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  All gold does not glitter or it seems so in Kershaw SC. There’s a quiet about this place, even with the busy 521 route running through the middle. The town situated just a few miles from the largest gold mine in the Appalachian region has never experienced the growth or prosperity you would expect. The promise of these things are found in every corner of Kershaw. Corners that were partially developed after Benjamin Haile discovered gold flakes on his farm in 1827. Soon the rush was on, the Southern Railroad followed in 1887. Only a local line still exists. There are reasons for all this, but no clear ones. Maybe it was when the Haile Gold Mine was purchased by owners far away who only saw the town as a place to provision its workers. Maybe it was that Kershaw edged in on two counties but never had enough sway to attract the county seat from either. Maybe the town simply became a place left in limbo. Still glimmers of brighter times can be found on the corners of Kershaw. Large buildi

ABE

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  The parking swirled with activity. A young man loaded his groceries into the back of his car. He turned and glanced at the older worn car pulling into the handicap space just down from him. The paint faded, it needed a wash. Just curiosity I guess, everyone cheated and he wanted to see if this driver was really handicapped. Abe reached in front of Ruth, trying to find the handicap placard in the glove compartment, then gave up the effort, thinking that once people saw him and his walk, there would never be a question. The young man drove off. Abe slowly turned his legs out of the car, holding on to the door top for leverage. He looked back at Ruth, as if to ask “do you want to come?” She motioned him on. Abe straightened himself, his thin gray hair blown by the wind. He still wore a long sleeve shirt and khakis, but steps were measured out carefully now, always wary of a fall. Most onlookers wondered if he was going to make it to wherever he was going. The grocery store seeming like

PROMISE OF STANDISH

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  Standish CA is just a spec on the road now, most noted as a gateway to the high desert. Once though ideas of Utopia were here. You can almost sense this in the untended fields, broken fences, and remaining buildings. The colors of long grass in the fields play with your mind.  The place flourished in the late 1800’s. Laid out by a religious group from the East and named after the colonizer Miles Standish, it was thought to have everything. Fertile land, settlers willing to follow a dream, and importantly an abundance of water from nearby Honey Lake.  Perhaps a harbinger of the West of the future, times changed. Water rights became an issue with already established ranchers. Finally, the State had to step in carving up the rights between different factions. Standish could no longer survive on the portion allocated. Dreams of Utopia faded, the town slowly giving way back to the high desert. I had stopped at the only business in town, a small liquor store. Mabel, the clerk, explained th

VOICES FROM THE STREET

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  More and more you are seeing media presentations incorporating the chaos of the street and life. Call them voices from the street. This includes platforms like street blogging, vlogging, advertising, and presentations. You can make a case that they have been around for a long time in major media, but not so much in mainstream business messaging.  A good example of this is the TV documentary series “How to with John Wilson.” Wilson takes a serious subject and mixes it with free for all street level scenes. Somehow it works, maybe because we all live, even thrive on the chaos of today. Either way, his messages get across. Others like the photographer Eric Kim’s blog site are recorded with him wandering the street, making his points sporadically, shouting out to his friends, noting sights along the way, all played against the music of life flourishing on all sides.  It makes you wonder about the presentations of old. How well ordered you tried to make them, how perfectly you wanted them

THE RANDOM SHOT

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  Eric Kim burst onto the photography scene a few years ago, becoming a noted street photographer. Following his photographs, career, blog, and philosophy since then, resembles  a bouncing ball. Some like his work and some don’t. Occasionally though, he comes up with interesting insights into photography. Such are his thoughts about “The Random Shot.” The unique scene you come across that does not fit the theme of your work or outing. Do you take the photograph or not? His answers is you should. If for no other reason, than it has spoken to you in some way. You sense the art there, but don’t completely understand the beauty yet. Besides you stretch your creativity and learn more about your camera. He discusses all this in his podcast “The Intrinsic Joy of Photography.” How art can be found in all things a photographer sees.