Walkabout, Day 27 — April 5, 2018


18 04 05 001


This is a photograph, taken from our car, window of Ralston Street as it goes over the freeway. I’ve taken photos from this same spot as Vesta was driving us downtown before, but I didn’t plane on doing so today, because we were supposed to go to Mayberry Park for our walkabout.

But as soon as we stepped outside, Vesta said, “It’s too cold to someplace new, let’s go downtown.”

It’s true, that’s really not very understandable logic, but as usual, her wish is my command, so I said, “Okay.”


18 04 05 002


I took this photo, looking north on Bell, from the Riverwalk, as soon as I stepped out of the car, just to check my settings, but I liked the photograph, so I’m using it here. It won’t be long before these trees are green and those grey skies will be yellow and orange at sundown.

I can hardly wait.


18 04 05 007


I do not know if this is a peach tree or not, but our peach tree has pink blossoms now, so I’m thinking maybe it is. However, the wind hasn’t blown most of our tree’s blossoms away, like with this one. So, I’m wondering, if those blossoms on the bottom part of this tree were just more tenacious, or was it more windy on the top of the tree than the bottom?


18 04 05 003


While I was photographing the street and the tree, Vesta was walking about photographing flowers, like these daffodils. Spring is here. At least the flowers think so, now if we can just convince those grey skies.


18 04 05 004


Hyacinths, pink and whith and look, purple too.


18 04 05 005


Goldenrod, at least that’s what I think this is.


18 04 05 006


Magnolias. They just make me think of summer in the South.


18 04 05 008


Here is Barbara, who I met when she came out of her house to see who or what her dog was barking at. I was the who or what. I’d just made the photograph in the middle of the street and was walking to the sidewalk when Fred the dog started up.


18 04 05 009


So, of course, when Barbara came out to check on Fred, I told her about our project, she said yes and here she is. Fred didn’t mind signing up for this project either and you can see him below, trick ear and all.


18 04 05 010


And here is Fred. When he was a puppy he broke his ear. I didn’t know you could break an ear, but apparently dogs can and I suppose people can too. Anyway, this is how he looks now. Kinda cute.


18 04 05 011


So here we are back at our river. Out of the car for only a few minutes and already we had ten photographs under our belts. This one is looking west along the Riverwalk. Vesta and I have walked miles and miles along this walk, all the way to Idlewild park and through it, but today we decided to go east, toward downtown.


18 04 05 012


I just love the way Vesta photographs me, because she always makes me look better than I do in real life. I don’t know how she does it.


18 04 05 013


Looking up into this tree you can see that it won’t be long now, before it’s covered in green. Bare trees and snow covered ones too, make for stark photographs. But it’s just so doggone cold out. Green trees are photographical too, just not as much, but it’s a trade off we’re willing to make, cuz when the trees are green, the sun’s usually out and it’s warm.


18 04 05 014


My dad took me on a trip to Reno when I was a kid. We stayed at a cheepo motel, but he had a friend who lived in this building. The building was brand new and I can still remember the newness of it and how impressed I was. Now there’s a ton of taller buildings downtown, but that one still impresses the kid in me.


18 04 05 015


Here are Bilalia and Danny. Danny teaches high school government in Clearlake, which is in California.They’re vacationing in Reno and Lake Tahoe and they were sitting on the bench by the Burning Man Butterfly, looking out at the river, when Vesta and I so rudely interrupted them. We talked to them for about fifteen minutes after I made their photograph. Bilalia’s a Democrat, Danny’s a Republican. But somehow, despite that, their marriage works.

However, they don’t argue much about our president. On that subject they’re agreed. He’s an embarrassment.

Talking about Trump is always a touchy subject and one we usually steer clear of. Because he is the president and we want him to do well. Or at the very least, not to ruin everything. Sadly, he’s taking our country down quicker than anybody ever could have imagined.

And sadly the Republican party is full of enablers. Anyway, let’s hope another party springs up soon, because we need two viable political parties for our system to work. One isn’t enough and three is too many. A Blue wave is coming and I believe the party of Lincoln won’t survive.

During our conversation, we talked about the derogatory nicknames our president has given his rivals, Low Energy Jeb. Little Marko. Lying Ted. This is his style and it’s only fair that he gets his own nickname, you know, since it’s the sword he lives by. I told Danny some friends of mine have taken to calling him, “Putin’s Boy.” But I don’t really like that name, because it implies the president of Russia is really calling the shots in America. And I don’t like to think that, even if it might be true.

“We call him, ”Spanky,” Danny said.

“Oh gosh, I love that,” I said.

“Me too,” Vesta said.

And I have to wonder, is it catching on, that Spanky nickname for the President of the United States. It’s what we’re going to call him from now on, because I much prefer the image of Stormy Daniels, the porn star, star spanking him, then him doing Putin’s bidding, because the first is funny and the second is terrifying.

So, “Spanky” it is.


18 04 05 016


18 04 05 017


This is the walking bridge between the Arlington Towers downtown and the Plaza Hotel. The hotel was built on top of the Arlington Towers parking lot and the Arlington pool was on top of the parking lot. Now it’s in the hotel on the third floor and it’s just about the best indoor pool I’ve ever seen in a hotel. And they keep it warm. It’s just wonderful.

We had a rooftop pool when we lived in the Riverwalk, which is right next to the Plaza, but it can’t light a candle next to the pool the Plaza guests share with the Arlington residents.


18 04 05 018


This store is next to Java Jungle on 1st Street. It’s been vacant a long time. It’s good to see somebody coming in, even if Vesta and I don’t eat burgers.


18 04 05 019


Looking east on 1st in front of Our Bar.


18 04 05 020


And lo and behold, along comes Bilalia and Danny. They say it’s a small world, that’s not really true. But Reno really is a small town, especially the downtown area.


18 04 05 021


So true.


18 04 05 022


18 04 05 023


Posing in front of the West Street Market on West Street. The market place is right across the street from the Riverwalk, where Vesta and I lived for a year in our deluxe apartment in the sky.


18 04 05 024


A lot of photographers do family photo shoots and engagement sessions with these chairs, posing their subjects in them and in front of them. We used to watch them from our balcony, twelve stories up.


18 04 05 025


What a handsome young man.


18 04 05 026


What a pretty young woman.


18 04 05 027


This sculptor is on top of the bike rack in the West Street Market.


18 04 05 028


I don’t know what kind of business De Luxe is, but they sure have a cool logo.


18 04 05 029


This is a new mural—well new to us, we haven’t been in the West Street Market in over a year— on the building across the alley and behind the West Street Market. I think it really works well with the “One Way” sign.


18 04 05 030


On the side of the big dumpster in the West Street Market.


18 04 05 031


The middle two balconies, two down from the top, the ones below the one with the hanging plant. That’s were we lived. Across the street and right above the West Street Market, with the Five Star Saloon next door. Living across the street from a bar that was open all the time was really cool, cuz if we wanted another glass of wine after we ran out, all we had to do was take the elevator down, cross the street and we were good to go.


18 04 05 032


“Hey fellow photographers.” We heard a man say when we got back to 1st Street. It turned out he was Craig, who used to work at Gordon’s Camera Store, now he works at Action Camera, the new store in town.

It turns out that he was teaching a walking class downtown tonight and apparently he thought we were a couple students. We told him we weren’t and then we took his photograph. Afterward, as we were talking, he told us he called his class his— wait for it, wait some more—yep his walkabout. I guess the name’s not as original as I thought.


18 04 05 033


Here is Dave, who is one of Craig’s walkabout students. We met him right after we said goodbye to Craig. Dave was wearing brand new white shoes, which he got to walk around Disneyland, which he just got back from.

As usual, after we made his photograph, I gave him our card.

“Wedding photographers,” he said. “Maybe I can ask you guys for a little advice.” It turns out in a couple weeks he’s going to photograph his first wedding. I wish we could’ve given him some good advice, but there’s not really much you can say about what we do in a couple minutes, other than to say, “Get the kiss.”


18 04 05 034a


Dave’s new shoes.


18 04 05 035


This is the Trinity Episcopal Church downtown. It’s got a great organ which really blows you way. So, even if you don’t go to church, you should go, just for the organ. Vesta and I have been quite a few times. Great people, great sound, great priests.


18 04 05 036


18 04 05 037


And Vesta photographed me as I was photographing the church.


18 04 05 038


These lights went on while we were there, so I photographed them.


18 04 05 039


Vesta saw these lit up hanging thingies above the stage at Wingfield Park, from the other side of the river, so she jogged over the walking bridge to make this photograph.


18 04 05 040


It’s just amazing to me that this guy looks so much better in Vesta’s photographs than he does in the mirror.


18 04 05 041


Justice is supposed to be blind and those scales are supposed to weigh both sides evenly and fairly. Oh, if only it were true.


18 04 05 042


Ralston Street on our way home, after our walkabout downtown.


Winter is Coming


My closing photograph today is one I took a couple months ago, when I was praying for spring. Now it’s here and I’m praying for summer. I guess the grass really is always greener.

See you Monday morning.


Ken and Vesta Wedding and Portrait Photography, 1250 Ralston Street, Reno, NV 89503
Phone: 775 393-9529