October, 2013 Archives

Bye Ball!

October 25th, 2013 Permalink

When my brother was little he used to say to the setting sun, “Bye ball!”. We’ve had a very foggy week here in Seattle, but Tuesday night it burned off before this beautiful sunset. I was at the Columbia Tower Club shooting some Seattle CEO’s at a gathering for the Puget Sound Business Journal.  I [...]

When my brother was little he used to say to the setting sun, “Bye ball!”. We’ve had a very foggy week here in Seattle, but Tuesday night it burned off before this beautiful sunset. I was at the Columbia Tower Club shooting some Seattle CEO’s at a gathering for the Puget Sound Business Journal.  I would take photos of them and then turn my camera to the sunset. (Not to say a CEO isn’t visually interesting – they are! But wow, it was hard to compete with that view). If you are ever in Seattle and you want to see just about every angle of  the Emerald City  FOR FREE go to the Columbia Center Skyview Observatory.  If you don’t mind skipping the novelty and high prices of the Seattle Space Needle, go to Columbia Center and you too will be like a drooling, wonder – struck child pointing and saying, “Bye ball!”.

The Small, (relatively) Unknown World of Competitive Roller Skating

October 16th, 2013 Permalink

I spent much of my late 70′s childhood in roller skating rinks. The musty, rubbery scent of the floor, the dizzying spell of the disco ball and the sounds of Rick James and Donna Summer blasting during a blur of pre-teen fun was something I never forgot.   So a few years ago I decided [...]

I spent much of my late 70′s childhood in roller skating rinks. The musty, rubbery scent of the floor, the dizzying spell of the disco ball and the sounds of Rick James and Donna Summer blasting during a blur of pre-teen fun was something I never forgot.   So a few years ago I decided to have my birthday party at the Lynwood Sport Center in Lynwood, IL.   Many of my friends were like “Uh, can you drink?  What no alcohol?”  I wanted to go back and have some good old fashioned fun without booze.  Bad pizza and a cake were all that we consumed that day, but I have to say that most of my friends and family left with a new lease on life and the magical powers of a retro-roller rink.   I heard things like, “Wow, skating is so underrated” and “That’s the best party I’ve been to in a long time!”

After booking my party I couldn’t help but notice a “practice” of some sort going on.  Skaters were skating like they would on ice.  I called the owner to find out more about it and was introduced the the world of competitive roller skating.  I also got to know John Peck (the coach) and his lovely family.  They taught me all about this relatively unknown sport and allowed me into their world.  Sadly their youngest son Kyle was hit by a car and killed at the Worlds in Rome, Italy. But the Pecks have found strength in keeping their love and passion for roller skating alive. Kyle was a national champion at the age of 10.

After feeling nostalgic about my Lynwood blast, I went to book another party at my neighborhood rink – Southgate Roller Rink.  I spoke with the owners and told them about Lynwood and they were like, “You know John Peck!?”  Turns out the owner Josh Rhoades has traveled with John and is a world champion himself.

That was it I booked it.   It’s a small skating world and I felt like I was home again.  And it doesn’t hurt that they have a bar at Southgate.

Here is a multimedia piece I did on John and his rink a few years ago.

From Above and Below

October 2nd, 2013 Permalink

The other day on a flight bound for Texas, I struck up a conversation with my neighbor just before landing for a layover in San Francisco.  He told me tales of his life as a “human lab rat”, basically making his living testing drugs for other humans in labs around the country.  As the pilot [...]

The other day on a flight bound for Texas, I struck up a conversation with my neighbor just before landing for a layover in San Francisco.  He told me tales of his life as a “human lab rat”, basically making his living testing drugs for other humans in labs around the country.  As the pilot announced our upcoming landing, I told him about a college internship I had at Point Reyes National Seashore just north of San Francisco.  I was lucky enough to be sent by the Student Conservation Association to Point Reyes for the summer to work with the biologist, assist guests in the visitor’s center, teach kids at the summer camp, lead earthquake walks along the San Andreas fault, and pull non native plants (uh for HOURS).  The best part, they gave me a house to live in right on the beach and I basically shared the entire shore with 3 other people – all park rangers.   I even met the great Huey Lewis,(click the link for great fun)  in of all places, the middle of the woods (which competes for the best part).

Just as I was telling my seat-mate that he had to go one day, I looked over his shoulder and out the window and there it was!  We were flying right over Limantour Beach (the beach where I lived for 3 months) and we had a perfect aerial view of almost the entire park.  I was yelling “Oh my God, there is!  There it is!”  The entire plane went silent and I shrunk back into my seat and I stared with my mouth hanging open – a photographer so entranced she was unable to think about even pulling out a camera. (Luckily I found this photo on the internet that is the exact same view).

I’ll never forget my favorite college biology professor, the late Dr. Daryl Karns tell me, “Suzanne I’ve been all over the world and you are going to one of the most beautiful places on earth.”  He was right.  And I try to make a journey back as often as possible.  As soon as I get there I suck in the air so I can smell the bay leaves, eucalyptus, and salt water and I instantly go back to the summer of 1990.

I took these photos from the ground during one of my visits.

The park is often over – looked and many people have never heard of it.  So if you are ever near San Francisco, drive about 4o minutes north and you won’t regret it.  You can walk sandy beaches, camp by the ocean, and commune with elk as you hike a ridge overlooking the sea.

Uh, but not today, it’s closed, thanks to a handful of House of Representative crazies.