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Showing posts from 2017

THE MOWER MAN

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Last year’s mowing season provided good profit for Dempsey. But it was long over, the grass of the South turned brown and dormant. Dempsey read once about why the grass did this: Cold weather hampers the roots from extracting the rich nutrients needed to stay green and grow.
He didn’t really understand all the technical detail. Brown grass always meant an end to his cash flow. The winter gave time for equipment repair and odd jobs, but little money. Dempsey sat sharpening the mower blade on the small bench in the wood shed behind his house. He smelled a pleasant scent from the house kitchen drifting toward the shed. Dinner. He got up to look out the window toward the house which sat on the other side of a small garden. Catching his image reflected in the shed window, he rubbed his short gray beard and thought for a moment the quickness of the years past. 
The mower man turned again and resumed the sharpening of the blade. He hoped it would stretch through another season. His mowing mach…

A 2018 WISH

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May we all find beauty, adventure and peace in every corner
of the coming year....

A MAN AND HIS ART

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Sulmona Meats, Boston

The rain poured down in winter cold Boston The evening slipping into night. I walked through the North End, the uneven cobblestone making footing unsure.
People were dashing home holding newspapers and umbrellas over their heads, clutching coats. Maybe wondering about the next paycheck. I passed Sulmona Meats on Parmenter, it had been there for ever. The showroom was closed and dark. The Street not much bigger than a crooked alley. 
Dark cold stone building surrounded me. In the room next-door to the showroom, a light was on. There the owner stood over a bench creating the cut meats for the next day. He had done the same-thing for years, day after day. 
You could tell it was his life and art. He never looked up from his craft, neatly piling the slices in front of him. Proud of what he did and his place in life....
David Young

DRIVE TO RENO

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It was there in the distance, Some abandoned gas station, On a road long forgotten.
The mountains still with Spring snow Beyond, between me and Reno. Not all promises in the desert last.
The tables green and numbered Waited for me in Reno, as I drove on. Not all promises in the desert last.


RENO DRIVE from David Young on Vimeo.

THE PLAZA

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Charlotte is a prosperous and growing city framed by new buildings, forests of modern apartments and sports stadiums. Gentrification, though, has not reached the Eastside. It remains a tangle of industry, art and wildness.
Learning how to get around Charlotte can take some time. The city is laid out on a northeast grid versus the normal north/south grid. It has been described as a group of wagon wheel spokes. Never is this more true than on the Eastside.
One the most interesting of it’s streets is The Plaza, which together with the Midwood Neighborhood, was once referred to as streetcar suburb of Charlotte. The streetcars are long gone, but the rich heritage of the street and it’s ethnic diversity are very apparent. 
It stretches eleven miles from the tree lined streets on the doorstep of downtown out to where it meets I-485. Along the way you find enclaves of Asian, Muslim. Latino and Black communities. It is a melting pot of the influences of adjoining Eastside districts and streets. Y…

ALONG ROUTE 903

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South Carolina Highway 903 is only 27 miles long running from Lancaster to Catarrh. While it will not be found on any guide to the South, It’s full of life and interesting finds along those short miles. It’s origin dates back to 1930.
Connecting roads call out their tales: Old Dixie, Rocky River, Fork Hill, John Log, Mining, Timber Lane, Norseman, Duckwood and Bristle Creek. 903 passes many picturesque farms and ranches. There is The Hill Top Tradepost, the iconic fire tower and 40 Acre Rock along the way. The road turns lush as you past Midway and stays that way to where it meets Route 601, called The Gold Mine Road. 
What I enjoyed the most were the small sights along the road, most linked with the past and rich with the patina of the road and it's color. You will find it a wonderful drive.

David Young

DENIO

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Time stood still for a moment as Las Vegas lights shimmered on the window. I turned looking around my hotel room and the pile of case work on the table. Then I finally did it, reached for my phone and dialed.
“Denio Bar,” a woman answered
I could hear the bar chatter in the background over the phone. “Is Ben there?” I asked, exacting a response of who. 
She said to my amazement, “I’ll get him,”
He must be 80 years old, I thought. Remembering that he looked old and cranky the summer I stayed there, twenty years ago. He owned the bar and ran it with a hard way.
A rough whisky honed voice answered the phone, “This is Ben.”
“You probably don’t remember me, I’m Tom Allen and I stayed in Denio one summer.”
Ben paused then said, “Hell, I don’t even remember myself half the time.  Ah, wait a minute, I remember you. You were the fresh faced college kid who hooked up with my singer. You were in here every night for a while.” He paused again for moment then said in a gruff voice, “That must’ve been fif…

THE GOLDEN HOURS

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Photographers always talk about the Golden Hours, near sunrise and setting, when the light blesses the earth with color and warmth. It quickly passes though. They shy away from midday shots when the sun is high in the sky yielding a harsh light that can dull images and creativity. 
They also talk about the Fall and Winter when the sun is lower in the sky extending hours of softer light. Light that blends the best of the Golden Hours and the edgy harshness of mid day shots.

As I have grown into the Fall, now the Winter of my life, the world has revealed more to me. Allowing me to savor more of the softer light and the texture of things.
David Young

SMALL DREAMS

TAKING A SLICE OF THE BIG APPLE

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Part of the fun of travel is trying something new. Staying in the heart of a big city is exciting. The action and attractions are right outside your door. Prices though are getting high. A stay in a downtown New York City hotel often costs $300 or more. Not to mention the $75 cab ride each way and the $20 glasses of wine. 
There are other ways to take a “slice of the Big Apple.” On a recent trip to New York, I flew into EWR Newark Liberty International Airport and stayed at the Hilton at Newark Penn Station. Newark is a short 21-minute commuter train ride to Midtown. There you can catch subways to almost any attraction in NYC, such as MOMA, The NY Public Library, 911 Memorial, and The Metropolitan Museum.
Flights to EWR are low cost because it caters to cruise lines, offering volume discounts. The Hilton I stayed at was $118 a night. It is attached by a causeway to Newark Penn Station (the sister station to Penn Station NYC). Trains run every 9 minutes. Better yet, Hilton will pick you …

THE NEW DESPERATE

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Our society is built on hope and the promise of a better life ahead. That vision is becoming more difficult for many who find themselves among the New Desperate. The faces of those needing help is rapidly changing. They used to be called the welfare class. Today they are more likely to be aging Americans or the working poor.
20% of people over 65 have no savings and 1 in 5 are still working. Many more will have to go back to work at some point after retirement. The National Council for the Aging reports that 10.2 million people over 60 are under the threat of hunger. 15.8% of those over 60 receive food stamps.  Many of these Americans have worked hard all their lives and only reluctantly seek help. 10,000 new people turn 65 each day.
There are 9 million working poor in this country. They represent those who work full time or at least part of year but still fall below poverty level. The official poverty level is a set shocking low at $11,880 for 1 person, $16,020 for 2 and $24,300 for a …

MOUTAIN HIGH

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I’m at the top of Watatic and I feel like a drop of ocean water caught mid splash, momentarily suspended in air. Given awareness, looking over the vast ocean of green. Feeling the grandeur of nature cognizant of all the varied life forms including drops of humanity tucked into the hillside swells. For a brief moment, I drink in as much as my limited senses allow. And then the moment is ended as I turn to drop down the mountainside, returning to my rightful place in the sea of green.

Brenda Little

THE LONG TAIL OF PURPOSE

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The need for purpose can haunt you and follow you into retirement. Even after a great career, raising you kids, having grandchildren and many accomplishments, there still can be a need to have some type of purpose in retirement.
Much is written about this subject and how to find missing purpose. Hobbies, family and volunteering help for a time. However, it never seems quite enough. We lived such an A to B life before retirement.
How do we find that purpose again, or should we at all? Most articles will urge you to strive for it. However, there is another way. It is to look beyond the need for the type of purpose we knew in the past. 
At some point, you start to realize that the driving need for purpose limits your enjoyment of the wonderful gift of free time that retirement gives us. A time when you can explore the full range of senses of what it means to enjoy life and be alive. The fresh fall breeze, the sounds of the city and nature, the taste and smell of a well prepared meal, the wa…

PARKING LEVEL 3

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Level 3, Level 4, Level 5, Level 6 and 7. Where was my car? I finally found it back on Level 3.
Pausing, I thought about how all the levels looked the same. How the city had become that way, everything the same. 
I turned, looking for an exit And hoped I was not that way….
dty ‘17

ANNE FARMER

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I grabbed the dog and walked down to the corner market deli. The shagginess and unruly nature of my dog remind me of my youth. No one would want him or me then. The morning air freshened as I sat in front of the market with coffee and paper.
A small article on the entertainment page caught my eye, “Jack Ely Dies.” The article went on, “Ely a member of Kingman, famous for singing Louie Louie…” Our old high school song, I thought. It was sung at every football game and dance. The memory threw me back to the late sixties and my high school years. Awkward and an outcast, they were long years for me. 
I thought of Anne Farmer. Her beauty gave her a pass to the in-crowd. Dating upper class-men who had fast cars and faster ways, the girls in that group had nothing to do with outcasts like me. Anne was different. She had a type of beauty that earthiness cast and a warm smile. She always took time to say hello to me. I knew not why, but it helped me find my way through those times.
Shortly after …

ROLLING ALONG AT WALMART

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"Rolling Along at Walmart" - just like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before....

THE DESERT SISTERS

BRIDGES OF ABERDEEN

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Aberdeen is a raw windswept town on the Washington State coast. I knew it from my business days. It is a hard scrabble place fashioned by the demise of a once flourishing timber industry. There were still glimmers of opportunity, but many who lived there had given up hope. Aberdeen is now perhaps best known for the birthplace of Kurt Cobain and his Grudge Rock.

Kurt Cobain, though, is not the only famous person from Aberdeen. Lee Friedlander, an icon of photography, grew up and went to high school there. Friedlander, now 79, is still alive and taking great photographs. He is famous for his series on Jazz legends, contemporary scenes, and street photography. 

The story of how he made it from Aberdeen to fame in Los Angeles and New York is an example of how there are bridges to success even in the toughest of places.
The answer to Friedlander’s success rested on determination and people skill. He set his site on a goal and sought the help of a local freelance photographer named Stan Spiege…