—  Ken and Vesta  —

Wedding and Portrait Photography

775 393-9529

Day 270, Glen.

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This is Glen, who fishes the Truckee River in Downtown Reno. Vesta and I asked him if he knew George, who people call Pappy, and he held up a Tupperware container and said, “Funny you should ask, because these are his worms.”

I felt Vesta shiver next to me. She’s never been a big fan of worms. I don’t mind ‘em so much, unless they’re squiggling around in my noodle soup, then I’d have a problem with ‘em.

Glen told us how they check the health and growth of fish in the river. A guy in a raft puts a rod in the water and shocks the fish. Then they pull ‘em out and check ’em out then put ‘em back.

I had no idea.

He also told us a story about how an undercover cop saved his bacon one morning recently. He’d been resting on a bench in the Plaza and there were a group of kids nearby. He didn’t know what they were up to, but they decided they didn’t want him around.

Words were exchanged and they apparently decided Glen mighta had something they wanted. You know, like his money. So they surrounded him, six or seven, maybe eight. Then all of a sudden this one guy comes up to him and starts shoving him away from the gang and out toward the center of the Plaza.

The guy was shouting at him and Glen thought he was gonna have to fight. He’s old and there was no doubt who was going to win the confrontation, but he wasn’t going to take anymore humiliation.

“Okay,” he said when he’d been pushed all the way to the center of the Plaza, “Let’s go.” He was ready to fight.

“Easy,” the guy said. “I don’t wanna fight. I just wanted to get you away from those kids without blowing my cover.”

So the undercover cop managed to save Glen from a thumping from a bunch of kids, who shoulda known better, without letting on who he was.

I’ve often wondered how the cops know who the panhandlers are, cuz when they start hitting the tourists up for money, they’re gone. And when they start hassling the tourists they’re gone. Where they go, I don’t know.

But Vesta and I lived right downtown for a year. She jogged everyday, knew many of the homeless on her route by name. She’s never been bothered. The rule seems to be, if you don’t bother anybody downtown, the cops won’t bother you.

But if you hassle people and ask ‘em for money, you go somewhere. I don’t know where, but you go and from what I’ve seen, you don’t come back.

Is this good or bad? I don’t know.

But kids can play downtown. Women can run. Guys like me can hobble along. Tourists can enjoy the river. Buskers can play with a hat out or a tin cup. Anybody and everybody can stroll along the riverside and enjoy themselves and yes there are homeless on some of the benches and yes we know that that some are drinking and that’s okay, cuz they’re not bothering anybody.

Well, unless you’re a Republican.

Day 269, Part 2, Dave.

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This is Dave and Vesta and I saw him in the river on this cold, cold morning, photographing OUR BRIDGE and we weren’t on it. We were in the Plaza and had just finished photographing Amelia and we wanted to get on home where it was warm. But this guy was in the river for his art and he was for sure colder than we were.

So we crossed over on the walking bridge and went on down to where he was and I asked him what he was doing. And, yes, I realized it was a stupid question right away, cuz it was pretty obvious what he was doing.

We talked for a few minutes and then I decided this was gonna be another day where Vesta and I put up two faces. One; because Dave has a great face and, Two; because when I saw the photograph on his card, I realized he was a damn good photographer.

In fact, it’s because of great landscape photographers like him, putting me to shame with my landscape photography, that I’m doing my landscape project. If I’m just half as good as he is at it when this year’s thru, then I’ll have considered my project a resounding success.

Day 269, Part 1, Amelia.

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This is Amelia, who Vesta and I came across after we left our bridge at about 7:10, cuz there was nobody there and nobody headed our way and it was cold. Not as cold as it’s been, but cold nonetheless. Way colder than being under a comfy warm blanket listening to Nora Jones or Pink Floyd.

But, this morning, instead of heading over to the Reno Sign, like we usually do, we went to the Plaza downtown, where our friend Meredith was heading up a crew counting Reno’s homeless youth. It’s something they do all over America on this day, which is a stupid day to do it, cuz it’s, like winter.

And not only is it cold in Reno, but in places like New York and Minnesota and Kansas, we’ll it’s really, really cold there right now. And that’s got me scratching my head, cuz if the Federal Government in Washington, D.C. really wanted to get something like an accurate account of homeless kids in America, you’d think they’d do their counting in the summertime, when the kids wouldn’t be afraid of freezing to death if they came out to be counted.

But that’s just me and my stupid view of government. I just happen to think these guys who run things should practice common sense once and a while. Like how hard could that be?

Anyway, Vesta and I went into one of the tents set up to do the homeless kid counting and I asked was there anyone in there who’d like to be part of our project and Amelia said yes and here she is. And she was a great subject for us, cuz it’s always nice when we can photograph someone who cares.

Day 268, Kristen.

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Here is our friend Kristen, who has been thirty-five years old for exactly seven hours when I made this photograph this morning. Vesta and I knew she was gonna come out, so we got to our bridge a few minutes early, cuz we didn’t wanna take a change that she might get there before us and maybe think we weren’t coming.

Since we’ve known her, I must have taken over a hundred photos of her, but you know, I like this one the best. I think cuz she was pretty happy this morning. She’s shed of a job she didn’t like and it taking care of her nephew now, a job she loves, so that would put a smile on anyone’s face.

Plus, like I said, today’s her birthday. Though she did say she dreading getting older. Heck, who doesn’t? I hate birthdays! Hate ‘em with a passion! Well, unless I get some really, really good presents, that’ll make up for getting older any day.

So, happy birthday, Kristen.

Day 267, Kathy.

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Here is Kathy out on our bridge at exactly 7:00 this morning. Vesta and I caught her as she was walking to work. She was halfway there and she works at UNR, where she’s in charge of online learning.

And, yep, you heard that right, she was on her way, on foot to the University of Nevada at Reno, which is a little over two miles from where we were standing when I made this photograph. I know this, cuz we live by the university and we’ve walked it. And she was halfway there, that means she walks four miles to and from work, EVERYDAY.

So, she doesn’t have to spend any additional time in her life doing exercise, of any kind, cuz just going and coming to work well that’s more than most of us ever get.

Years ago, there was this guy named Kenneth Cooper, who was a doctor at the Air Force Academy and he came up with this crazy idea that if you exercised on a daily basis that your cardio vascular system would be better than those who didn’t and he set out to prove it.

So he got a lotta cadets, who worked out and some who didn’t and the results knocked his socks off, cuz two of the cadets, who did no exercise at all, were in the best shape, heart and lung wise.

He was flabbergasted, couldn’t understand it. So he decided to study these guys who did no exercise and he found out that one of ‘em walked like a couple miles or so to school everyday and the other rode his bike like three or four miles.

And voila, he discovered aerobic exercise. Cuz, you see, back in the early sixties, walking, running, biking and swimming wasn’t exercise. Exercise meant you lifted weights.

Well, it appears Kathy is like those cadets who didn’t exercise. And I’m guessing she doesn’t have to.

Day 266, Part 2, Larry.

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Here is Larry. 

Vesta and I met him this morning at around 9:00. We’d gone to Dr. Reganti’s office with Shannon, as today is her first chemo day. Shannon was the first person in the chemo room and all the nurses there were very friendly.

Shannon took a chair in the middle of the room and right after her, Larry came in and he took the first

chair, next to the wall, so he’d only have company on one side, whereas Shannon would have someone on both sides.

I asked if the chemo room ever filled up and was told that it was gonna today. Then have two chemo rooms and this one had like ten or twelve chairs in it. I shoulda counted.

Anyway, Larry had a great face and I wanted to photograph it. So I went over and asked could I take his photo and could I put it on Facebook and my blog and he said sure.

“What do you do?” Vesta asked.

“I was a hairdresser.”

“Can I see your hair?”

“Sure.” Larry laughed. Then pulled off his hat. “He had no hair.”

“I’m so sorry,” Vesta said.

“Don’t worry about it.” He laughed too. Then he said, “Though I do have this one hair that keeps growing out, right here,” he touched a spot on the back of his head,

“So what kind of cancer do you have?” I said,

“Lung.” He put his hat back on.

“Are you gonna get better?”

“No.”

Larry is seventy-years old and he beat lung cancer five years ago. But one day shy of five years and it came back.

I talked to him about Shannon, who was sitting five chairs away and I told him about the six thousand dollar Neulasta shots and he told me he’d had those shots too.

“I just learned that there’s drugs the insurances companies don’t cover,” I said.

“Tell me about it,” he said.

“So what do you do?”

“I pay out of my own pocket.” He went on to tell me his 401K is gone, cuz of what he had to pay.

“So what happens when you run out of money?”

“I’m not sure.” He shook his head. “But I guess I’m going to find out.”

And I shivered.

Day 266, Part 1, Toni and Jeremy.

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Here are Toni and Jeremy out on Sierra Street, just north of our bridge at 7:10 this morning.

Vesta and I got to our appointed spot at 7:00, but there was nobody there, so after an eight or nine minute wait, we headed north on Sierra and ran into Toni and Jeremy straightaway. They were in a hurry, but they let us make their photograph.

Actually, we were in a hurry too, cuz today is Shannon’s first chemo session. Brrr. Chemo, it sounds every bit as awful as it is. Still, it saves lives, and that’s what it’s all about.

I wish we coulda spent a little more time with Toni and Jeremy though, cuz we know zero about them. Maybe they’re tourists, come to Reno to get married. Maybe they’re just late for work. Maybe they’re industrial spies, in town to steal secrets from Tesla. Maybe, they’re Russian spies, in town for I don’t know why.

I can imagine a thousand and one reasons about why they were where they were so early in the morning, but I bet the real one is pretty exotic. I like to think so anyway.

Day 265, Charles.

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Here is Charles, out on the Sierra Street Bridge in chilly, but beautiful Reno at exactly 7:00 this morning.

I saw someone on our bridge as we were driving down Sierra and I wanted to step on the gas, cuz if we could get his photo real quick, we could come right home, where it was real, real warm. But the light turned red and I had to step on the brakes instead.

“That guy’s wearing a camel hair coat.” And with the hat he looked a little like a Mafia guy and I wanted to make his photograph in the worst way, so I looked both ways. There was nobody coming. “I’m gonna run it.”

“Don’t!” Vesta said. So I didn’t.

“He’s gonna leave.”

“Maybe not.”

The light changed and I stepped on it. But Vesta was right, he didn’t leave, cuz he was waiting for us.

Charles used to tend bar at Tronix, which was the Best Pub on Earth. I cried the day they closed.

A lot of you reading this, know how much Vesta and I loved that club. We loved everything about it. The dancing, the atmosphere, the dancing, the people, the dancing and the bartenders. And we loved shooting there.

Maybe Tronix wasn’t a pub for everybody, but it was a pub for anybody. It was a place where you could be who you are without being judged. It was a safe place for kids to dance. And they liked us.

If you wanted to wear almost nothing at all. It was cool. If you wanted to dress as Bigfoot, that was cool too. I’ve often referred to it as the Burning Man of bars. It’s gone now and I don’t believe the magic that was Tronix will come around again anytime soon.

Anyway, Charles used to tend bar there and he’s poured me and Vesta a fair amount of drinks. And today is his birthday, so take a second and wish him a happy one.

Day 264, Part 2, Vicki.

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This is Vicki, who Vesta and I ran into on our bridge. We’d already gotten our photo, but she was so gosh darned alluring, that we just had to make her photograph. And I think this is like the tenth time, we’ve had a Part Two in this 365 Days of Faces Project.

But every day that we’ve had a second part, it was really, really worth it.

At least Vesta and I think so and ours are the votes that count, cuz it’s our project.

Day 264, Part 1, Maggie.

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Here is Maggie, out in front of the Artist’s Loft, on Virginia Street and the River. Which is right next to the Virginia Street Bridge, which is where Vesta and I started this project. But they tore our bridge out from under us to build a new one.

But you can’t give up a project, just cuz they took your bridge away. So we moved over to the Sierra Street Bridge and made that one, Our Bridge.

But sometimes, nostalgia brings us back to where we began this By the Dawn’s Early Light photography project.

Maggie lives in the Artist’s Loft and that is very cool. She’s a mystery writer and has a new book coming out soon called, DEATH DOUBLES DOWN AT THE RIVERSIDE. So if you’re looking for a good mystery based in Reno, keep your eyes peeled for it.

Day 263, Michael.

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Here is Michael, who we met on our bridge at exactly 7:00 this morning. When I asked if I could take his picture, he asked why, I told him and he said okay. And, as usual, Vesta asked him what he was doing out so early.

He seemed like a street person and that was unusual, because we’d never seen him out here before, so at first we thought he wasn’t from Reno.

But it turned out he was. He was going to meet somebody at 7:00 just down the road, he said, so he was a bit late.

But Vesta wasn’t quite ready to let him go. “How old are you? she said, I suppose just to be making conversation and to open him up.

He said he was Eight-Four, born in 1932 in Alaska. And after more questioning she found out that he’d been a deep sea fisherman and that he’d been all over the world.

She said that he must have led an exciting life and he said that it started out that way, but then one day in Oregon he was in an accident with a logging truck which killed his wife and kids and put him in a twelve year coma.

“Twelve years?” Vesta said. “Unbelievable.’

“You wanna see proof?” He took his cap off and showed us a horrible scare that ran around the top of his head. “Bashed my skull in.”

I asked him if he remembered waking up and he said kinda did. I asked him about his recovery and he told us that most of that part of his life is a fog.

I asked him if he liked Reno and he said it was better than a lot of places he remembers and that he likes it here.

I wanted to ask him so much more, but he said he was late and that it was getting later, so he really had to go. So we wished him well and said goodbye.

“Geez,” Vesta said after we were in the car. “One day his life is going great, then the next, for him anyway, his family is dead and he’s lost twelve years.” She wrapped her arms around herself. “Brrr.” She paused. “You just never know.”

Day 262, Part 2, Rosella.

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This is Rosella, who is one hundred and three years old. Yep, that’s right, she was born in Rembrandt, Iowa a century plus three and half years ago. She’ll be a hundred and four on September 1st.

Isn’t that something. I was awed just being in her presence.

Vesta and I went with Shannon and Catlin to Shannon’s chemo class this afternoon and I’ll post about that tomorrow. Anyway, after the class, we were headed to the elevator, where we ran into Rosella. She was leaving her doctor’s office, which was down the hall from Shannon’s oncologist.

No, Rosella doesn’t have cancer, she was just getting a check up.

Can you imagine being a hundred and three and a half? How remarkable. She was born in 1912. She was a little girl during the first world war. A young woman during the second. She’s seen and lived our history and she’s a very feisty lady.

When I asked could I take her picture, she said, “I’m afraid I’ll break your camera.”

“You won’t break it, Rosella.” I smiled a big one. “How could you? You’re gorgeous.”

Then I took a photograph of Rosella with her daughter and her granddaughter, who were with her. And after that, we all rode the elevator down to the ground floor, where we said goodbye.

Can you imagine? A hundred and three and a half. Wow!

Day 262, Part 1, Mike.

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This is Mike the Mason out by our bridge at 7:00 this morning and today, he’s gonna be pouring the concrete on the walkway from Sierra to Virginia Street and boy howdy is that good news.

And even better news is that it’ll be open in about a week or so. For too long, walkers, buskers and tourists have been blocked from that part of the river on the north side, because of the bridge construction.

In fact, if you wanted to get over to Virginia from Sierra and you were on our bridge, you had to walk way, way outta your way.

Vesta asked him how long before we could walk across the bridge and he said, that’ll be a little longer.

Ah well, for now, we’ll have the walkway back and I for one and Vesta for another one can hardly wait to walk on it.

Day 261, Jimmy.

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This is Jimmy, out in the Dawn’s Early Light. He came zipping by on his skateboard on the opposite side of the street, when I shouted out, “Hey, can I take your picture?”

He stopped, waited for the cars to pass then crossed over.

At first he thought I wanted him to take our pictures and he stopped and came over for that. How cool is that?

But after I told him about our project, he was glad to participate.

And when Vesta asked him why he was out and about so early, he said he was on his way to the library, cuz they were getting the new Batman cartoon movie in today and he wanted to be first in line, to make sure he got it.

“But the library doesn’t open till 9:00? ” Vesta said.

“I know,” Jimmy said. “I’m a bit of a nerd.”

So we shook hands and said goodbye and Jimmy skated on his way.

Day 260, Sam.

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Here is Sam out in the Dawn’s Early Light, looking every bit like America’s Top Model. I’m saying that, cuz when I asked her if she knew what a “smize” was, she went right into it.

When Vesta and I got to our spot this morning, Sam was waiting, cuz we’d already photographed several of her friends who work in the courthouse, which is right next to our bridge.

Sam works in Reno’s Criminal Justice system and when she told Vesta that, I got visions of “Law and Order.” You know, that cop show that used to be on, maybe it still is, where they always caught the bad guys.

You know, it’s good to be living on the right side of the law, cuz if we weren’t we’d have to keep looking in our rearview, to see if we’re being followed and we’d have to carry around a pocketful of dimes and quarters for phone booths.

Wait! They don’t have phone booths anymore. Does Superman know that!

Anyway, one of the good things about being law abiding, upstanding, voting citizens is that when Sam’s going over the wants and warrants, she won’t be seeing our names.

Day 259, Ricky.

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This is Ricky, the Rickshaw Guy on Virginia Street in Downtown Reno, after the rain.

Our bridge was void of folk at 7:00 and fifteen minutes later nothing changed. It seemed like the rain or the holiday, it was MLK Day, or both conspired to keep people home.

So Vesta and I wandered downtown and before we got to the Sign, we saw Ricky. I put my hand up and he wheeled his rickshaw to the curb. And I told him straightaway about our project and asked could I take his picture.

He said sure and I did.

Then I told him, we’d done Dorothy, who also peddled a rickshaw downtown, about six months ago and I asked did he know her.

“Oh yeah,” he said, “she’s my girl.”

And I guess I shoulda guessed that. It seems they take turns peddling the rickshaw in the Dawn’s Early Light.

So now, you got two reasons to come to downtown real early. One you can get your photograph made and two, you can get a sightseeing tour in a rickshaw. Boy you can’t beat that.

Day 258, Mason.

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This is Mason at 6:45 this morning. He works the nightshift at the Best Western Motel in Medford, Oregon. Vesta and I did Marianne, who also works there yesterday and today we thought we’d stand on the bridge over Bear Creek, like we do in Reno and find an early morning face.

But it’s raining horses and goats and when it rains in Oregon, it’s not like rain in Nevada, so Mason was looking better and better as a candidate.

He’s been working for Best Western for eight years and he’s also the auditor for this motel. He’s studying computer science and he’s got really, really cool glasses. Can you see they’re not reflecting any light? Sort of like the museum glass we use on our portraits, cuz you know, when you look at a portrait on a wall, you don’t wanna see your living room reflected in it and you don’t wanna see yourself either.

Now we’re gonna go have breakfast. Then we’re gonna go see if we can find some shelter under an overpass and take a few photos, then, if we don’t get drenched, we’re gonna have lunch before we drop Devon off.

And then we’re gonna drive home very, very carefully. Fortunately the weather people say it’s gonna be a lot better this afternoon than it was the day before yesterday, when we came.

Day 257, Marianne.

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Here is Marianne, who works at the Best Western Motel in Medford, Oregon. As Vesta and I do when we’re on the road, we find a local person for these 365 Days of Faces Photographs, because three hundred miles is too far for us to make a trip to our bridge and back again in under a couple hours.

So I told Marianne about our project and she was glad to pose for a photograph.

I coulda got a real dramatic shot, by asking her to step outside into the pouring rain, but I was pretty sure she wouldn’t a wanted to do that, so we did it inside, where she worked.

The trip here was pretty harrowing. We had all that stuff the mail guys go through to deliver the mail. You know, snow, sleet, slush, icy rain, hail (well it coulda been hail) and it was just awful toward the end, when we were coming over the hill into Oregon.

It was snowing as hard as I’ve ever seen it. Our wipers were going to beat the band. The snow was gorgeous. Deadly, but gorgeous, like a black widow.

We probably shoulda turned back when we saw the cops pulling people out of an overturned car five minutes after we left the house. But, you know, we love Devon and we’re stupid, so we continued on.

After all, how bad could it get? We had a car. And we had snacks. It’s not like we were gonna get snowed in like the Donner Party and have to eat each other.

Also, there is nothing that’ll keep you on your toes more than icy roads and snowy skies.

Day 256, Larry.

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This is Larry, out by the Reno Sign on Virginia Street at 7:20 this morning.

When we got to our bridge, there was no one there, it was cold and there was a light dusting of snow. So we headed for The Sign.

Virginia Street was almost a ghost town, but not quite. We saw Larry and started toward him and just as we got to him, this good looking black kid comes up from behind and says, “Excuse me, would you be interested in some crack?”

“I don’t think so,” Vesta said. “Not today.”

“Okay, bye,” the kid said. Then he picked up his pace and headed toward Harrah’s Casino.

“He try’s peddling his stuff in there,” Larry said, “and he’s gonna be in a world of hurt.”

“Crack?” I said. “They still do that?”

“Apparently,” Larry said and then I asked could I make his photograph and he said I could and I did. Then Larry started rolling a smoke.

“I kinda wanted to stay and talk with Larry a bit, but we were in a hurry, cuz we’re going on the rode this morning and we still had to pack. So we said goodbye.

“No thank you. Not today.” I said to Vesta, mimicking her, as we headed toward the car.

“Well, I didn’t want to be rude.”

Day 255, Justin.

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This is Justin, who was out walking with three of his friends on Virginia Street this morning. We saw them, cuz we were there too and we were there cuz there was nobody on our bridge and it was cold and we didn’t wanna wait.

But just as we were leaving, Tim and Courtney, from the other day, came by. It was a bummer that we’d already made their photograph, cuz we really wanted to go home.

After they left, we headed toward the Reno Sign, but we ran into Justin and his friends before we got there.

“Can we take your picture?” Vesta said to all of ‘em as we approached. She really wanted to get the picture made, so she could get back to her warm home.

But three of them said, “No!” as they walked on past us.

“Wait a minute!” Justin said. “You can take mine.” And I did, but his friends kept right on a walking, so we didn’t have time to chat, cuz he was in a hurry to catch up. So he didn’t even get a chance to learn about our project.

Ah well. We got the photograph and that’s what count’s, though I would have liked to have gotten a little more out of him. But he was with friends and in too much of a rush to get back to them to spend time with us.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that two of those friends were girls. So I guess I get that.

Day 254, Karen.

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Here is Karen, who lives in the Ruby Mountains, which are near Elko. If you’ve ever been, than you know how beautiful it is there and if you haven’t seen those gorgeous mountains, then you should. You’ll never forget ‘em if you go.

Karen’s in Reno, visiting her youngest son and right now her husband is in Peru. He’s in mining and they’ve lived all over the world. She told us they’d spent five years in Ghana and they’ve lived in Peru, where her husband is now, and lots of other places.

How great to have a job which lets you live where you can learn about other cultures and get to know fascinating people.

I asked Karen if she was on Facebook and she said she wasn’t. I told her a billion people were and she said those billion could live without her. She’s got a great live and doesn’t need to go online to make it any better and that’s way cool too.

Day 253, Roshaun.

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This is Roshaun on our bridge in the Dawn’s Early Light. He was walking by just as Vesta and I slid into our parking space. I jumped out and asked straightaway could I take his picture and he immediately struck a pose.

Then another. Then another. And then another.

“This is not your first dance, is it?”

“I’ve had my picture taken before, if that’s what you mean.” He smiled. “I’m an entertainer.”

And you gotta admit, he looks the part. This is exactly the kinda face you’d expect to see up on the silver screen.

We woulda liked to stay and chat, but when we left our garage this morning, every single thing in eye’s view was covered in frost and being on the bridge was a frosty cold experience, so we wanted to get home and get warm, but we did learn that Roshaun is from Vegas and that he’s gonna come here and check out his photo.

So, I hope he likes it.

Day 252, Tim and Courtney.

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Here are Tim and Courtney, who came to our bridge from the Subway (the restaurant, we don’t have an underground in Reno) on First Street, with sandwiches tied to their belts. They were on their way to work, when Vesta asked them if we could take make their photograph out in the Dawn’s Early Light.

They said yes straightaway and I took the picture and then I told them about our project.

I don’t know what it is with growing old, but as I’ve said before, young people just about never say no and most don’t even ask why. But it seems as people get up in they’re years, they’re more suspicious, like maybe we’re gonna steal their soul or something.

Or maybe we’re gonna do something nefarious with their photograph, you know, use it in some kind of identity theft thing, we actually had someone say that to us once. Or maybe we’re gonna ask ‘em for money after we make their picture.

And the older they get, right up till they’re about seventy, after that they don’t seem to care, the more suspicious they get. I guess you really do get younger at heart when you get older.

And we’ve met a couple people in their mid forties or so, who we were sure were on the lam. Cuz when they saw the camera in my hands the fear showed right up in their faces as they said, “NO!”

Maybe that’s why Vesta and I liked shooting at Tronix so much. The place was always jammed to the gills with young folks all wanting to be in our photos.

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say, if you’re between say thirty-five and sixty-something and you see us with a camera out on the Sierra Street Bridge, lighten up, we’re not after your money our your souls, we’re not gonna turn you in the Feds and we’re not identity thieves. We’re just out taking pictures for our project.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot, Tim and Courtney said that they hoped everybody reading this would have a wonderful day.

Day 251, Annie.

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Here is Annie from Sacramento. She’s here on holiday and this morning we captured her when she was on her way to Church.

Vesta liked her hat and I must confess, I did too. It’s way cooler than a plain vanilla grey one.

Oh yes, before I go, I should mention that this photograph was made on Virginia Street, because nobody came by our bridge. We waited about fifteen minutes, then went downtown, toward the Reno Sign, but we caught Annie before we got there.

As for Sacramento, we almost moved there instead of Reno. SAC is okay, but they don’t got a city anywhere on Earth better than Reno. Okay, Paris is as good, but not better, just bigger and way different, you know, cuz the speak French and all.

Day 250, Gary and Lou.

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Here are, from left to right, Gary and Lou. Vesta and I did them way back in the first or second week of our project. We used to see them every morning, but as the days got shorter, they were gone by the time we got to our bridge, cuz we show up with the rising sun, so when winter came, we started getting there later.

We talk to them a lot, when we see them, and on occasion we stop by the Cal Neva during the day and say hello, as that’s where they hang out, playing Keno.

The interesting thing about this photo is both these guys are as blind as a dead raccoon without their glasses. But their glasses were reflecting the sunlight, so I asked them to take ‘em off. I couldn’t ask just anybody to do that, but these guys were happy to comply.

After I took the photo, I showed it to Gary and he said, “There’s no point in showing me that. Not only can I not see the photo, I can’t see the camera.”

“You can put your glasses back on.” I laughed. And they did and we talked for a bit, then we shook hands and parted ways, like we have a lot of times in the past eight or so months.

Day 249, Part 2, Lucy and Brianne.

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Here again is Lucy, who Vesta and I photographed out on our bridge just the other day. And again, I know we used to have this rule about only being in our 365 days of photos one time, but we’ve broken that rule a couple times now, so that made it easier to break this time, because Lucy came strolling across our bridge on this cold, cold morning with her lovely daughter Brianne, just as we were getting back to our car to go home.

So, we had to make their photograph.

And we also had to make their photograph, because we’d just done a mother and son, so it’s like today was family day for our 365 days of photos business.

Day 249, Part 1, Deena and Nick.

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Here are Deena and Nick in front of city hall on Virginia Street, which is right next to the new Virginia Street Bridge construction site.

Vesta got to our bridge at 7:15, just like we were supposed to and according to the thermometer in our car it was only 24°F outside, which was way warmer then the 9°F it was just a few days ago. But when we got out of the car, we experienced the bitter cold that windchill can cause.

And since there was no one on our bridge and no one in sight, we decided to head downtown and see if we could find someone before frostbite set in.

We stopped and talked to Kathy, who is the gate guard, making sure unauthorized people don’t storm the construction site to get a gander of the new bridge. And as we were talking to her a car pulled up in front of city hall.

“I’m gonna go and get whoever’s in that car, so we can go home.” I started for the car with Vesta right behind me, getting there just as Dina and Nick got out.

I told them about our project and they were happy to let me make their photograph and when Vesta asked them why they were out so early, Dina said that she worked in the City Hall building and that Nick, her son, was dropping her off. Nick’s a student at TMCC and isn’t it cool that he takes Mom to work?

Day 248, Part 2, Stephen.

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This is Stephan, who as you can see was not exactly captured by the Dawn’s Early Light. He was however, captured by window light, in our living room.

A while after Vesta and I got back, there was a knock, knock, knocking on our door. I went to answer and found no raven saying nevermore and Bob Dylan wasn’t singing about Heaven’s Door, just an eighteen-year-old young man, named Stephan, knocking on our door.

Okay, so I’ve had too much coffee.

Anyway, Stephan was out canvasing for Hillary Clinton and that’s pretty gosh darned admirable. And don’t get me wrong, it would be just as admirable if he was out knocking on doors for Donald, Jeb, Bernie or any of the others.

See, he’s not home, sitting in front of a computer, posting nasty, off putting, hate things on Facebook about the candidates he doesn’t like. Instead, he’s out politely knocking on doors, promoting the candidate he does like.

And for all you people, who post hate on Facebook, this kid’s doing a heck of a lot more for his candidate then you are for yours.

Nobody ever changed their vote and nobody ever will, cuz of a nasty post on Facebook. But when a polite young man knocks on your door, if you’re any kind of decent human at all, you listen. Unless, of course, you don’t really give a shit about who gets elected.

And if all you do is post hate, you don’t. Not really.

Day 248, Part 1, Cheryl.

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Here is Cheryl out in the Dawn’s Early Light wearing her Paddington Bear hat.

We actually took two photos this morning. Usually we just take one, then get on back home. However, for the last couple days, we’ve taken two or three.

Our first photo was of a young man on his way to court. He was smoking and nervous. He was glad to have his photo taken and we thought he worked in the courthouse, like Cheryl and several others we’ve photographed out on our bridge.

But he didn’t. He was going there though, cuz he got a DUI and was in a lotta trouble. So we talked about DUI’s for a bit and when we told him we once had a head on collusion with a drunk driver, he apologized like it was his fault.

I asked how worried he was and he said that he did the crime and that he deserved whatever he was gonna get.

And I said maybe getting an attorney might not be a bad idea and he said he had one, but he didn’t sound very confident in his ability. Anyway, he was a nice young man, but due to his circumstances, Vesta and I decided not to use his photograph or to mention his name.

But we wish him luck.

Then along came Cheryl, who works with some of the others we’ve photograph and she’s a lot prettier than DUI guy anyway.

Here is Cheryl out in the Dawn’s Early Light wearing her Paddington Bear hat.

We actually took two photos this morning. Usually we just take one, then get on back home. However, for the last couple days, we’ve taken two or three.

Our first photo was of a young man on his way to court. He was smoking and nervous. He was glad to have his photo taken and we thought he worked in the courthouse, like Cheryl and several others we’ve photographed out on our bridge.

But he didn’t. He was going there though, cuz he got a DUI and was in a lotta trouble. So we talked about DUI’s for a bit and when we told him we once had a head on collusion with a drunk driver, he apologized like it was his fault.

I asked how worried he was and he said that he did the crime and that he deserved whatever he was gonna get.

And I said maybe getting an attorney might not be a bad idea and he said he had one, but he didn’t sound very confident in his ability. Anyway, he was a nice young man, but due to his circumstances, Vesta and I decided not to use his photograph or to mention his name.

But we wish him luck.

Then along came Cheryl, who works with some of the others we’ve photograph and she’s a lot prettier than DUI guy anyway.

Day 247, Part 3, Maria.

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Here is Maria.

Just as we were again getting in the car, I spied her heading toward our bridge. She was small, slender and beautiful.

“I’m gonna go ask her.”

“Three?” Vesta said.

“We can do it.” I laughed. “There’s no rule against it. Besides, we’re the ones who make the rules, so we can change ‘em if we want.”

“Okay.”

So, I crossed the street and got to Maria just as she got to her car. She was obviously just coming back from the gym and her car was parked on the bridge.

“Can I take your picture?” I said.

“Okay.” She turned toward me. Young people never say no and almost never even ask why. But I told her anyway.

Then Vesta gave her our card and we said goodbye.

“Okay,” Vesta said. “You’re pushing it, we gotta go now.

“Going.” And I crossed the street and we got in the car and came home.

Day 247, Part 2, Lucy.

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Here is Lucy. She came by as Vesta and I were getting ready to go home, after photographing Joe and I liked her face, so I asked could I take her picture.

“No!” she said and usually that would be enough for me to move on, but for reason’s I don’t know why, I persisted.

“But we have this project called 365 Days of Faces in the Dawn’s Early Light,” and I proceeded to tell her all about it.

And I was sure I’d won her over when she said, “Still no!.”

“Still no?” I said, not quite ready to give in. “Do you work in the courthouse?” She said she did and I told her about all the others we’ve photographed who worked there.“Don’t know any of them.”

“Really?”

“It’s a big place.”

Then Clayton (Day 164), who is one of the guys we photographed, who is working on the bridge came by and said hello. He also said he’d seen and liked the photograph we did of him.

“So these guys are legitimate?” Lucy said.

“Sure the are,” Clayton said.

“Then you can take my picture,” Lucy said and I did.

Day 247, Part 1, Joe.

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Meet Joe, who is bathed here in the rising sun’s glow. Joe is one of Reno’s heroes. He’s out with the Reno Ambassador’s crew, helping to keep our downtown beautiful.

When it’s cold outside, Vesta and I see a lotta people wearing hoodies and to me, they all have sort’ve a Star Wars look about them. Just looking at this photograph of Joe and I expect him to come up with a light saber at any second.

And since he’s got such a great smile, it would be a blue one.

Day 246, Part 2, Debbie.

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Here is Debbie on our bridge at about 7:25. Vesta and I were just about to head home, when we saw her coming toward our bridge with Kay. So we waited to say hello. And then we decided to do Debbie’s photograph, cuz we already had three of the people she works with in our project.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we got everybody who works in the courthouse in our group of faces. That way, if Vesta and I ever got in trouble, and it could happen, we’d have lots of friends on the inside, who could maybe help us out of it.

Day 246, Part 1, Ryan.

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Here is Ryan out in the Dawn’s Early Light. He came by around 7:20 or so and he was okay with us making his photograph.

When Vesta asked him why he was out so early on this chilly morning, he said he was going to court on a traffic matter.

And you know, I can sympathize. Vesta’s 48 in a 35 wound up costing us $250. And I heard on the radio just yesterday that a moving violation in California can cost up to $750.

Still, Ryan didn’t seem upset about it at all. But then look at him, he either carries a light saber or a crucifix during his day job.

And you know what? And I don’t wanna make anybody upset, cuz the very last thing I’d ever wanna do on Facebook is step on someones’s political or religious toes, especially their religious toes, but to me, this is the most Christlike human I’ve ever seen.

If He does come back someday, this is what He’s gonna look like. His skin may be darker or lighter, but you get the idea.

Day 245, Tom.

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Here is Ryan out in the Dawn’s Early Light. He came by around 7:20 or so and he was okay with us making his photograph.

When Vesta asked him why he was out so early on this chilly morning, he said he was going to court on a traffic matter.

And you know, I can sympathize. Vesta’s 48 in a 35 wound up costing us $250. And I heard on the radio just yesterday that a moving violation in California can cost up to $750.

Still, Ryan didn’t seem upset about it at all. But then look at him, he either carries a light saber or a crucifix during his day job.

And you know what? And I don’t wanna make anybody upset, cuz the very last thing I’d ever wanna do on Facebook is step on someones’s political or religious toes, especially their religious toes, but to me, this is the most Christlike human I’ve ever seen.

If He does come back someday, this is what He’s gonna look like. His skin may be darker or lighter, but you get the idea.

Day 244, Part 2, Pappy.

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Here once again is Pappy. We did him way back on Day 36. Back then we did him in black and white, so he’s in color here, but that’s not the reason we’re doing him again. This mornings story is just too good to go unsaid.

It’s the hippy people,” Pappy said as he approached.

“Where’s you fishing rod?” Vesta said.

“Didn’t bring it today. I heard about you on the news, so I decided to come out and say congratulations.”

“That’s nice.” Vesta smiled.

“Say, what do you think this is worth.” Pappy pulled a Canadian five dollar bill from his pocket.

“Either four-fifty or six-fifty.” I knew it wasn’t equal, but I thought the exchange rate was close.

“I just found it in the alley.”

“Vesta found a twenty the other day, right there.” I point up Sierra. “You’d’ve been proud of her, she bent over, picked it up and didn’t even break stride.”

“That’s how you gotta do it.” Pappy Grinned. “One day when I was fishing the river, this empty bottle of Jack came floating by. Bloody tourists, I thought as I went out to pick it up. Then I noticed the top was on it and that was very unusual. Then I saw there was a note inside, so I was obligated to read it.” He paused for effect.

“What’s it say?” Vesta said.

“It was wrapped around a hundred dollar bill and it said the finder could keep it, but would they please respond to this address and say where they found it. It was a dot com kind of address, so I gave the note to a friend of mine who has a computer. It was for some TV program.”

“Wow.” Vesta said.

“Yep, A hundred dollars in a bottle. That was a very good day for me. Had a good breakfast, then blew the rest.” A good day indeed.

We talked for a few more minutes, then said goodbye. We got in the car, started it, when Pappy stepped in front of the car with his hand up telling us to stay put. Then he bent over and picked something up.

“I found a dime.” He grinned. “Another lucky day.”

Day 244, Part 1, Dennis and Claire.

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Here are Dennis and Claire, who have just now moved back to Reno after six years in Arizona. And when I say, just now, I mean that. Vesta and I had been out on our bridge for a cold fifteen minutes without a soul coming by, when we saw a big U-Haul truck, followed by a car pulling a U-Haul trailer, park just south of the bridge on Sierra.

“Them?” Vesta said.

“Let’s go,” I said.

We told them about our project, they said yes and I took the photograph.

“Are you moving to Reno?” Vesta said.

And that’s when they told us they were moving back.

Reno, it’s a great place to live and a wonderful place to move back to. That’s what we think, Vesta and me.

Day 243, Susan and Tristan.

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Here are our friends Tristan and Susan, who were waiting for us on our bridge and boy oh boy were we glad they came out, cuz it was 9°F this morning.

We pulled up behind a car from Washington State and right away I saw the engine was running and we’d talked to Susan, who’s from Washington, a couple days earlier and she said she might come out. AND SHE DID.

And she brought Tristan with her. Tristan’s her daughter. She’s from Reno, but she lives in Hawaii and she’s going back in a couple days. Can you imagine, Hawaii?

They were all bundled up against the cold, like a couple Eskimos, but then Vesta and I were too. The whole photograph making process took about a minute. Then we all hugged goodbye and the last thing Tristan said before she got in her mom’s car was, “I’ll send you warm thoughts from Hawaii.”

Hawaii, can you imagine?

Day 242, Michael.

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Here is our friend Michael. He was walking north on our bridge, when we pulled up and we were pretty gosh darned glad, cuz downtown was a ghost town again, both cuz of the cold and because it was the first day of the year, so everybody who worked downtown had the day off and the tourists were all sleeping in, because they probably partied hardy last night.

So, Vesta and I decided to make a second exception to our “you can only be in our 365 Days of Faces one time, unless, of course, your name is Vesta rule,” and I took Michael’s picture for the second time. The first time we did him was way back on Day 4, so it’s been awhile.

Michal was walking to the gym and like in the other times we’ve seen him out here in sub freezing weather, he was wearing shorts.

Me, I just learned about laying. So for the first time out on this bridge in the winter cold, and it was 18°F this morning, I wasn’t in danger of freezing to death.

For pants, I had on Levi’s and on top of them really thick sweatpants. For shirts, first a long underwear shirt, then a tee shirt, they two sweatshirts and on top of those, a really thick jacket. And I got some really warm socks yesterday.

It’s true, I could barely move and my arms couldn’t reach my sides. But I WASN’T cold. Well, not too cold.

Michael, on the other hand, didn’t look a bit like the cold bothered him. Maybe, after several more Reno winters, I’ll get that way too.

Day 241, Nate.

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Here is Nate, out by our bridge, at 7:10 this morning. Vesta and I caught up with him as he was on his way to work. He works at the theater, where we saw the new Star Wars movie. And I don’t care what anyone says, it was the best of the bunch. They’ll have to go some to top it.

We ran into Nate straightaway and that was a very good thing, cuz even though it was a below freezing 24°F, I don’t think I’ve ever been colder. And I’ve been in some pretty gosh darned cold places, plus we’ve been out here when it was 15°. But for some reason, it was cold to the bone this morning.

So I was real eager to get back in the car and get home.

“Let’s go and see if they have the Believe sign here yet?” Vesta said.

“But I wanna go home.”

“Oh, come on, it’ll only take a half hour.”

“But I don’t wanna.”

She tucked her hands under her armpits and started flapping her wings, “Pluck, pluck, pluck.”

I made a fist. “You’re gonna join Alice, right up there on the moon.”

“Come on!” And she headed up Sierra and stupid me, I followed.

Remember the part where I said I’d never been this cold. Well, it got colder. Still, we got to see the sign. Then we quick walked back to the car.

And now I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. If it happens again, I’ll be waiting in the car with the heater on. She’ll just have to get hyperthermia all by herself.

So there.

Day 240, Ada.

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Day 239, Christine.

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This is Christine at 7:15 this morning out on our bridge. We got there at 7:00 and we saw and talked to a couple people we’ve photographed before and we didn’t mind spending a little time with them, cuz it was only 31°F outside and, you know, I’ve learned there is a whole heck of a lotta difference between 31° and 16° cold wise.

And I never, not ever, thought I’d say 31° wasn’t all that chilly. But, even so, we didn’t want to wait till the cows came home to get our photo, so after ten minutes or so, we decided to head over to the Reno Sign.

But we only got half a block when Vesta spotted Kay (Day 224) with a friend. She poked me in the arm. “Look!”

“Hey, Kay,” I shouted, cuz Kay was on the other side of the street. “Can we take her picture?” I pointed to her friend.

“Yes,” she shouted back. So we crossed over and all four of us started toward our bridge, where we made Christine’s photograph.

“How long before the baby’s due?” Vesta said.

“Baby?” I said.

“Next Friday,” Christine said.

“You’re having a baby next Friday?” I said.

“Yes,” Christine said. “January 8th.”

I don’t know nearly as much as I should about this baby stuff, but if you’re gonna have a baby in less than two weeks, I don’t you should be walking to work in the snow, for gosh sakes. Okay, they were only walking from the parking garage, but still, SNOW.

But Christine, Kay and Vesta didn’t think it was that big a deal, pregnant people working. Heck, if I was pregnant, I’ve want the whole nine months off, every single day. Anyway, if you look at the comments, you can see a photograph of Christine in all her pregnant glory. And I mean glory, cuz there is nothing prettier on Got’s Green Earth that a pregnant girl.

Day 238, Antonio.

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This is Antonio from San Jose, looking like he’s just stepped out of the new Star Wars movie. He’s touristing off in Downtown Reno and as far as Vesta and I are concerned, that’s a very good thing. We need more tourists here, who don’t come just for the gaming.

Don’t get me wrong, we love the casinos, but Reno has a whole heck of a lot more to offer. We got the river. We got great parks. We got MidTown. We got the Art District and there’s always something great, wonderful and magic going on there during the summer. We got great people. And we got a European atmosphere. We got great clubs. Great bars. More fun stuff than you can shake a stick at.

So if you’re reading this and you’re not from Reno, “Come on Down!” We’d love to have you.

And today, the weather wasn’t all that bad, only 25°F Downtown. It snowed, but only a little tiny bit, earlier, but it stopped and it looked like it was going to be a good day, however, it started snowing on the way home, so maybe we’re still in for more cold. Hope not, though.

Day 237, David.

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This is David, just a quarter block south of our bridge at 7:00 this morning. Vesta and I got to our appointed spot about two minutes early and we were standing in weather that would freeze a penguins ass off, when we spotted David coming toward the bridge.

“Let’s go meet him.” Vesta said.

“Right.” Sometimes we both think alike. In this case, if we hustled toward him, instead of waiting for him to come to us, we could make the photograph faster, hustle back to the car, get the heater on and get home and under a warm electric blanket.

So that’s what we did and we must’ve looked like a sight as we gingerly walked as fast as we could toward him, you know, cuz we didn’t want to slip on the ice and break our heads open.

I asked could we take his photo even before we got up to him and luckily he didn’t ask why, he just said yes. So I pushed the shutter button and was about to start back to the car when Vesta asks him why he’s out so early.

“I always walk to the river when I’m in Reno.”

“So you’re a tourist?” Didn’t she know it was cold out side?

“From San Francisco.”

“Why’d you wanna come to Reno in the cold?”

“For my kids, they love the snow.”

“Ah,” she said, then “It’s it’s been a pleasure meeting you.” She held out her hand and David shook it. Then he shook mine.

“You are aware of the fact that is really cold,” I said.

“Yes, it’s cold.”

“Sixteen degrees,” I said. Thinking he must really love his kids to drive up to this weather for them.

“It really has been nice meeting you.” Vesta said and then we hustled back to the car and got gone.

Day 236, Paul.

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Here is Paul on a very cold Reno Morning. Fifteen degrees cold and that’s a record for us, cold-wise. Thank the Heavenly Father there was no wind. However, the roads were icy and even though I was trying to watch my speed, we snow slid into our parking space on the bridge.

In fact, we slid past it, but fortunately there were no other cars parked there, so I didn’t have to worry about rear ending anyone.

I got outta the car, shivering, cuz we don’t turn the heater on when we leave the house, cuz if we did, it would just seem that much colder once we got outta the car. But it was way colder nonetheless.

“Are you going to leave the car like that?” Vesta said.

“Well yeah?”

“You’re six feet from the curb.”

I turned to look. “Am not.”

“You’re in the traffic lane.”

“Am not.” There was no way she could tell, cuz the white lines were covered in snow.

“You want me to move it?”

“Oh, all right.” I got back in and moved it, just before a snowplow came down the road. And, I guess, I should admit, he drove right through were I’d been parked, so maybe I was a just a tiny bit too far from the curb.

Anyway, Paul came along right after I re-parked and I asked could I make his photograph. He said yes and I did and Vesta asked him what he was doing out on this shivering cold morning and he said, “Taking a walk, before Lowe’s opens.”

“Going to Lowe’s today?” Vesta said. “Why?”

“I need boxes.”

“For boxing day?” Vesta said.

“For boxing anyway,” he said.

We talked for a few more minutes, then we shook hands and said goodbye.

“They don’t do Boxing Day in America,” I said as I pulled away from the curb.

“He was going to boxes, so that counts.”

I coulda argued, but I coulda made my own breakfast too, so I just nodded and drove home.

Day 235, Part 2, Vesta and Maggie.

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Here are Vesta and Maggie on this chilly Christmas morning, both wearing bright Christmas colors.

Right after we made Laurel’s photograph, Mike and Maggie drove up. We photographed Mike way back on Day 5, but they were here for Maggie.

However, just as I was about to click the shutter, Vesta said, “Wait!, I wanna be in the picture with Maggie,” and she moved in beside her and that’s why I have two gorgeous girls in this photograph.

And once again, I’d like to say Merry Christmas to everybody in the whole wide world. Merry Christmas from me and Vesta and Mike and Maggie too.

Day 235, Part 1, Laurel.

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Here is Laurel from Santa Cruz. She’s a tourist and Reno can use all of those we can get, so Vesta and I were very glad to make her photograph this Christmas morning.

We were very worried downtown would be a ghost town, because of Christmas. We thought everybody would be home, opening presents or sleeping in or just enjoying their holiday, but there were quite a few people out and about.

And the streets were slippery with ice and cold with snow, but it was pretty out and I guess that’s reason enough for some people to brave the cold. That, and they wanted to spend Christmas morning with the sunrise. Which, when you think about it, is a great way to start any day, especially Christmas.

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