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February 19th in Reedley

One month ago today, I spent the morning in Reedley, California with my children and some of our good friends. We visited four generations of their family. The oldest is about one hundred years older than the youngest.

 (bryan farley)

February 19th is the anniversary of Executive Order 9066 signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. More than 100,000 Japanese Americans were “relocated” to camps during WWII. Some of my friends’ family were removed from their homes and sent to camps. Aunt Thelma, who is almost 102 now, was one of those people.

 (bryan farley)

I met Aunt Thelma four years earlier at a weekly card game. I realized that she was short, but she was full of life. Life’s circumstances had not appeared to diminish her enthusiasm for life.

 (bryan farley)

Thelma helped raise her niece and nephew, so Thelma is closer than an aunt.

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All the relatives seem closer when they are around Aunt Thelma. (I feel closer when I am around her too.)

 (bryan farley)

Even my son wanted to discuss Thelma’s energy afterwards. He explained that usually young people visit old people to make them feel better, but this time it was different. It seemed that all the younger people visited the old person so that the young people could feel better.

It seemed that way.

For more photos, see the gallery.

 

 

Weekend Warrior Tour

Last Friday night, I traveled to my old home town to photograph Brad Paisley‘s Weekend Warrior Tour. In addition to photographing Paisley, I also photographed Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant and Lindsay Ell. I reviewed the concert for Stereo Embers Magazine, so this post will mostly include photos with links to photo galleries.

 (bryan farley)

In the concert review, I mentioned that Paisley included a visual tribute to Salvador Dali on one of his album covers. The Time Well Wasted cover was inspired by Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory.” The Dali album also included a duet with Dolly Parton and, for surrealism, excessively corny outtake tributes to Hee Haw.

 (bryan farley)Paisley is married to the actress and author Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Kimberley wrote the best-selling book “Where the Light Gets In” that discusses how her family struggled with her mother’s rare form of dementia. When Brad Paisley performs, it is easy to forget that he is part of a family too.

 (bryan farley)When I grow up, I want to sing like Dustin Lynch. In 2012, Lynch’s released his first single “Cowboys and Angels.” He seems as if he has always been singing.

Here are photos from his concert.

 (bryan farley)

If any performer has ever looked as if they have walked off Springsteen’s Born in the USA album cover, it was Chase Bryant.

Photo Gallery of Chase Bryant’s performance.

 (Bryan Farley)

Lyndsay Ell, who was born in Canada, opened the show. She had enough stage presence to fill the entire arena. She joined Paisley for a duet during his set, and as she left the stage, he said, “there’s the future.” We need more allies like Paisley and more musicians like Ell.

Photo gallery of Lindsay Ell

Photo gallery of Brad Paisley

 

A Kaleidoscope of Resolutions

New Year’s Eve, 2017

Pt. Richmond, California

 

“A day is a span of time no one is wealthy enough to waste.” – from my son’s fortune cookie after our photo shoot

This year is the fourth year that I have photographed Christine Findley and her daughter. Each year I photograph them around Christmas. It has become our tradition. The first year, we met in Clayton, California on Christmas day. The last three years, we have met in the East Bay. I create a photo book and give it to them.

2017 Findley Family Photos

 (bryan farley)

I am pretty sure that I get more out of our outings than I give. This year my son Mason joined us, and in the spirit of New Year’s Eve, I began creating resolutions.

 (bryan farley)

I often look at the world through my camera. Some people question if I am missing out on something, but when look through my camera, it’s as if I am viewing the world through a kaleidoscope. I realize that it is not that way for many people, perhaps because they close one of their eyes or they don’t see in color, but it is for me… at least usually.

In the next year, I am going to keep looking.

 

 (bryan farley)

On the way home, I asked Mason to tell me about his favorite experience of the day. He told me it was the few minutes we spent on the makeshift seesaw we found on a deserted beach. It was a good reminder that joy is often found in the simple things. We can please others and ourselves by listening to the things that make us happy. In the next year, I resolve to look for the seesaws on empty beaches.

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When I thought we had finished, Christine’s daughter asked that we walk out to the end of park. We watched a sunset and took some of the best photos of the day. It was another reminder to look for beauty everywhere, even in unlikely places.

 (bryan farley)

kaleidoscopes, seesaws, abandoned buildings.

 (bryan farley)

 

I am including the blog post from 2015 and the fortune cookie picture above. The link to the photo gallery is at the top of this post.