The 40th 4th


One of the points of consistency in my forty-two years in Madison County has been the 4th of July party held annually by Paul Gurewitz, Laurie Pedersen, and Gary Gumz. This year's event is the 40th consecutive party and while the personnel has changed over the years, the party hasn't, except that it's gotten bigger. I want to believe I was at the first one in 1975, but if I was I didn't shoot any pictures, which would have been unusual. These images are from the 1977 party. Music and dancing in the now mostly demolished Art Gallery, pizza cooked in the car hood oven, and plenty of children and dogs. I met my wife Leslie at the 1988 party so, in essence, this party changed my life and I'm forever grateful for that.

But this party also conjures up childhood memories of the 4th - gatherings of my extended Italian family, first generation Americans all, and proud of it, tons of food, badminton and horseshoes, fireworks, and heartfelt goodwill. 

On the Northwest Trail #6 La Push


Leslie on the Beach at La Push, Washington, 2014

click image to enlarge

Cool and rainy. A perfect respite from the heat we've left in North Carolina. Leslie walking like a champ on all terrains with her new hip. Enjoying walking together again. The beach is littered with these giant, aged remnants. So many we assumed they had once grown there when that sandy, rocky beach was part of the adjoining forest, its soil rich and loamy. "No," we were told. "Those trees were uprooted deep in the forests many generations ago. Floods brought them down the mountain in rivers, which emptied into the bay, where they were eventually washed onto the shore." Monuments from a different time and place. The woman who told us, my age perhaps, remembered playing on them as a child, as her parents and grandparents did before her.