Walkabout, Day 22 — March 24, 2018

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We got up early and watched the news for about an hour or so, watching kids from all over America streaming into the National Mall in Washington DC. It was pretty gosh darned impressive. We could’ve spent the day in front of our little laptop (we don’t have a tele, so when we want to watch the news, we do it on a Chromebook), but we wanted to be a part of the March in Reno and we needed to walk.

So we grabbed our cameras, locked the house and headed downtown. It’s about a mile.

The photo above is of the corner of Bell, where it runs into the Truckee River downtown.

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Looking east on Riverside Drive. I’ve taken this photograph before, but the seasons change and the sky’s never the same,  so I don’t think I’m overdoing it. Not like I’ve done with my photographs of the Virginia Street Bridge.

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Looking west, toward downtown. Because of all the rain and snow, the river’s getting high again.

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There is snow on the mountains again. People are still skiing and there’s gonna be river rafting this summer. And when summer comes, Vesta and I are gonna be rafting down the river. How far, I don’t know, but we’re gonna go.

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We got downtown before the crowd and we were a bit worried, thinking maybe nobody was gonna come. Then we spied the Moms Demand Action people setting up in the Plaza. Here’s Alyson, one of those moms.

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Here is Alyson with Sara on her right and Jennifer on her left.

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Here is Reno’s Space Whale and Calf. We’ve photographed them before and probably will again. In fact there are two more photos of this wonderful sculptor below. We were early, we had cameras, it’s a beautiful sculptor, the sky was overcast, so of course we photographed them again

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Most reading this know, but for those few who don’t, Vesta and I spent a decade living on a sailboat called Great White Wonder in the Caribbean.

And we often saw whales when we were sailing between the islands, especially when we sailed to Venezuela. Unlike dolphins, who often swam in our bow wake, jumping in and out of it, whales usually kept their distance.

However, one time when we were sailing off the coast of St. Vincent with our friend Gary, we saw a lone calf and we immediately dropped the main and rolled in the jib, because as every sailor knows, or should know, the only time, in theory anyway, when a boat is attacked by a whale, is when it gets between a cow and her calf.

Mom sees the boat as a threat when that happens, it’s usually not a good thing for the boat or the people on it. So we stayed still, till we saw mom surface and move toward the calf. Once they were together, we unfurled part of the jib and slowly sailed on by.

That was pretty thrilling.

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And still again, here is a photograph of that bridge I’ve photographed so much. We’re gonna walk somewhere else next time, promise. That being said, you can see how high the river is. Gonna be rafting come summer for sure.

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Today, the kids marched against guns. Eight hundred thousand in DC. Marches all over America. All over the world. Vesta and I were captivated by their short speeches. Can you imagine, still in high school and standing before over a third of million people in person and millions more on TV and you’re only fifteen or sixteen or in one girl’s case, eleven?

And they were eloquent and elegant. Kids. They were kids. And a lot of ‘em were attacked on Facebook, on Twitter, on TV, because they want to ban the guns that have been mowing them down. Yeah, there are those who think these kids should have stayed home. Shame on them.

That said, I’ve tried to not be political on Facebook, because whenever you are, there are those who try to bait you into a stupid argument. Usually they have no facts to back ‘em up and when you counter them with facts, they cut and paste their responses from some website which apparently molded their point of view. I guess they do that, cuz it makes them feel smart. However, back when I used to take the bait, I would google their words and when I found that they were dumb boobs without a mind of there own, I’d stop the conversation.

Anyway, I’m still not going to be political on Facebook, at least after this post, because in today’s environment, I don’t think it’s productive. However, I just may have a few words to say about what I believe and I just may comment on what’s going on in America today in my Walkabout posts on our website, so if you don’t wanna see anything like that, please don’t look.

However, I think I should give you just a brief look at what my politics are, just in case you do wanna look at my Walkabout posts. And don’t get me wrong, these posts are not meant to be political and a lot of ‘em won’t be, but I’m not going to shy away from politics like I do on Facebook.

Basically, though I don’t claim to be a Christian, in the sense a lot of people do, I’ve read the Bible. More than once. In fact, only a few short years ago, when I was in bootcamp in San Diego, I was issued a pocket sized New Testament. I guess the United States Marine Corp thought we should be prepared spiritually for the trials we were about to face.

We had five Jews in Platoon 151 at MCRD and I didn’t wonder then what they thought of their pocket sized New Testament’s back then, but I kinda wonder now. And I’m betting they don’t issue those anymore.

I’ve only mentioned the above, because that Jesus guy, whether he was who he said he was or not, really influenced me and I suppose if you’re going to be influenced by anyone, he’s a better influencer than most.

Basically, this is how I decide which side of an issue I’m going to come down on. I ask myself, what would Jesus say about it. And when I’m in the voting booth, I ask myself each and every time, before I make a mark on my ballet, “Where would Jesus make his mark?” And that’s where I make mine.

So, before you decide to click on and look at my Walkabout posts, which might, sometimes, be about more than pretty pictures, here is where I stand.

1. Abortion - Jesus would be against it, so I am too.
2. Capital punishment - Jesus would be against it, so I am too.
3. Undocumented immigrants - Jesus would forgive them and let them stay, so that’s where I stand too.
4. Gay marriage - Jesus wouldn’t care, so I don’t either.
5. People who look different than me - Jesus believes we’re all equal in the eyes of God, so that’s good enough for me.
6. Guns - Jesus would be against them, so I am too.
7. Politicians who take money from rich people and lobbyists - I think you know what Jesus would think about them.
8. War - Jesus would certainly be against that and I am too.
9. Equal pay for equal work - Same answer as number 5.
10. Taxes - He’d want me to pay them, so I do, even though I don’t like to.

See, it’s pretty easy to see where I stand. I stand with Jesus, even though I’m not quite sure he was who many think he was and even though he lived a long time ago.

And in closing, I don’t like any Bible School or Divinity School or graduate in Religious Studies person or pastor or priest or televangelist telling me what Jesus meant every time he opened his mouth, because I know what he meant and you do to. If you don’t, all you gotta do is read what he said, it’s pretty gosh darn clear.

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It was pretty cold, no it was a lot cold out, so we huddled in the portico of the Bruka Theatre across Virginia from the plaza, and this is the view we saw from there.

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Here is Erik Holland, who is a local artist who paints within one square mile downtown. He’s got a show coming up soon. Where I don’t know, but you can google it. We first photograph Erik about a year and a half ago on day 373 of our 1001 Days of Faces project. And, like then, he was painting, as you can see below.

If you’d like to see his photograph and story from our other project, you can click anywhere in this sentence.

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It’s an hour later and people are starting to arrive.

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Here is Reagan, asking a horrible question. And the sad truth is, she could be.

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Here is our friend Carissa. If you’re interested in helping to elect Democrats the next time around, she can help you do that. You can contact her via her website: http://www.carissasnedeker.com.

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Here is Neeva, who wants guns gone and kids safe. Is that really too much to ask?

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Here is Bob, who is an Anglican priest from somewhere in Alaska. I should’ve asked from where up there, because Alaska’s really big, but I didn’t. Anyway, Bob thinks guns gotta go. Well, he is a priest after all.

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And here is Rick, who is an Episcopal priest. We’ve photographed him before, because he’s pretty active, so this isn’t the first time we’ve seen him with a sign in his hands and it probably won’t be the last.

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The March started at the federal building downtown and went to the plaza by city hall. There’s a parking lot across the street from the federal building and we saw police up there on the second floor, keeping a watchful eye on the marchers. So we took the elevator up to the roof, a couple floor above the cops, and I made this photograph as people were still coming.

And we were afraid nobody would come. I’m glad we were wrong.

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Vesta had a zoomy lens on her camera, so she got a little different perspective than I did. Seeing those shoes representing kids killed by guns is just chilling.

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Before we left the roof, Vesta turned east and took this photograph of snow on the mountains. And it started snowing where we were about five minutes later.

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The she turned her camera west and photographed me, looking pretty small in the grand scheme of things.

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My photograph from inside the parking garage, looking to the federal building across the street.

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And here is Vesta’s photograph from inside the parking garage, looking to the federal building across the street.

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Oh if Only it Were So.

And as I got to here, I took a break and checked my Facebook page, where I found out one of my musician friends, unfriended me, because he said he didn’t want my antigun photo of Reagan above on his feed. He said the kids were just whiners. And I say good riddance to him.

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Somehow she always gets into my posts.

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And here she is again.

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Here are Bill and John, who we were delighted to photograph, because they were also in our 1001 Days of Face project, coming in at Day 952. Can you see they’re wearing warm caps? That’s cuz it was really cold. Still, lots of people came out to march, despite the cold and the snow flurries.

And, if you’d like to see what they looked like back on Day 952, just click anywhere on the sentence.

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After the crowd got to the Plaza, we decided to go to the roof of the Cal Neva parking garage and get a couple more photos from on high. This is mine.

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And here is Vesta’s photograph from on high. Actually, I couldn’t make up my mind which one I liked best, so I decided on posting both.

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Vesta took this photograph of the BELIEVE sign, then reversed it, so you you could read it. Then she overexposed the sign, making it stand out.

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Here are Reno’s Finest, making sure we’e all safe and no one causes any trouble. Well, who would? Oh yeah, maybe a shooter with an AR 15, there’s always that possibility in any crowd anywhere in America today.

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Here are those same cop cars from the other side.

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With the march over, we decided to see a movie, before walking the mile on home. And with the sky bright, I took a photograph of you know who on the Riverwalk.

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And on the way to the theater, we saw Paula. She was one of our faces too. Actually, she posed with Vesta back on Day 883. And you can read about Paula in my closing photo of Vesta and Paula along with Paula’s story, posted back then.


Day 883 of 1001 Days of Faces, One Hundred and Eighteen to Go.

Here is Paula, posing with Vesta. We met her right after we parked on our bridge. We’ve seen her around, usually selling her bracelets on the Riverwalk between Sierra and Virginia, but we’ve never had the chance to photograph her, because either we already had our face for the day or it was in the afternoon and we didn’t have our cameras with us.

But we got lucky today and here she is.

Paula is originally from New York. She is semi homeless, which means she’s currently living in a motel. She makes and sells bracelets for a living and Vesta and I will be going by her place on the Riverwalk today and buying a couple.

And it would really be super cool if someone, anyone reading this would go by and buy a bracelet too. They’re not very expensive and Paula could really use some help. She’s a starving artist and Vesta and I think wearing a bracelet by Paula would really be cool. And since we’re really cool people and wanna be even cooler, we’re gonna get bracelets.

Just think, It could happen to you, you could be cooler too. All you need is a bracelet by Paula.

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