—  Ken and Vesta  —

Wedding and Portrait Photography

541 773-3373

If you were part of this project you see your photo below, you can either drag it off or you can click on it, which will take you to the gallery, were you can click the download button under the photo to download it. Downloading it will get you a large copy of the photograph.

And in case we didn’t tell you when we photographed you. Thanks for being in our project.

Long Beach Faces, 225-250

Long Beach Faces, Day 226. January 26, 2023.

Here is Abbey. She works at Yasu, which looks like a fun place to eat and Vesta and I will be trying it out very soon, because I want to get back into Yelp’s good graces, so to try and accomplish that, we’re going to eat at and review restaurants till we do. It might take us awhile, but we’re determined, because Vesta loves those Yelp parties and she wants me to get us invited back to them.

So why are Yelp and I on the outs?

I was a pretty active Yelper when we lived in Reno, because I like to write and I like to eat, so Yelp seemed like a good fit for me. And after you have enough reviews and friends on Yelp, you get invited to their parties, where they wine and feed you food to die for till you’re ready to pop.

So, I started writing more reviews, so we could keep going to the parties. But after awhile some no good dirty rotten doctor commie rat turned me in for violating Yelp’s guidelines, which I didn’t, and they deleted twenty-five or so reviews, WITHOUT CHECKING.

I know this, because I called them and the person I talked to, though he had not read the reviews and could not, because when they delete a review, they flush it done a toilet which drains into so far into the Earth that it’s closer to the other side then the Reno side. Like, my reviews were closer to China then Reno and nobody in the world could dig that deep except Yelp.

And to make matters worse, the guy told me, Yelp’s reasoning probably went something like this. If you read my reviews of wedding related businesses, like florists for example, you can tell I’m a photographer, because I usually post professional looking photos with them. So a bride, might see my photos and might call me up to photograph her wedding.

“And how would they know how to find me?” I said.

“Because you write about Vesta a lot. So if you use her name, someone could figure it out.”

“So you deleted my reviews because my wife’s name is Vesta and not Jane.”


And then I said some words I won’t repeat here.

Untitled photo
Long Beach Faces, Day 227. January 27, 2023.

He Reads Books, What a Concept.

Vesta and I saw John just before we got to the eastern most part of the Shore or our walk yesterday. He’d just rounded the corner from Bay Shore, where the library is, with an armload of books. And he looked interesting as all heck.

So, of course, I had to stop him and we learned that he has no TV, no computer, no phone, no internet at all. And he’s pretty happy not to have any of it. He reads, he said.

“And good on you,” I said to him.

We don’t have a TV either, but we do have computers and internet and phones, but sometimes I wish I could go back in time before all of that, when people read and when they talked when passed each other on the block.

Ah well, change is good they say. But not all change. I don’t think so anyway. We could do without atom bombs, for example.

Long Beach Faces, Day 228. January 28, 2023.

Here are Cathie, Jimmy, Grace and Jane. Vesta and I met them this morning on Ocean, right across the street from the art museum, as we were on our way to those seventy-five steps down to the beach and the cement pathway, where we were going to try and find a face for today’s post, because we didn’t go out last night.

And I didn’t particularly want to go out this morning either, because it was kinda cold. But somebody said, “Zip that jacket up and stop being a big weenie.” Strong language, but I must confess, I’ve been called worse.

However, lucky for me, we met these four running buddies at the stoplight, so we were able to photograph them and I got to come back home. Yeah for me, the big weenie.

Long Beach Faces, Day 229. January 29, 2023.

Here is Ruli, who Vesta and I met on the Belmont Pier at 8:00 this morning. He was with his friend Juan, who isn’t in this post with Ruli, because the weather people say it’s gonna rain tomorrow, so we’re going to cheat and make Juan our two hundred and thirtieth Long Beach Face.

Usually, when we walk on the cement pathway on the weekends, no matter how early we get there, well if the sun’s up, we have our pick from oodles of people, but this morning runners and cyclists were the only ones about, till we got to the pier.

But on the way back, the pathway was crowded, but tempted as I was, I attempted to photograph no one, because tomorrow we’re back to fourteen + one person a day, and we have Tiffany visiting, so I need to spend sometime away from the computer.

As for Ruli, well as for the shirt he’s wearing. I need one like that.

Long Beach Faces, Day 230. January 30, 2023.

Here is Juan, who Vesta and I photographed on the Belmont Pier yesterday with his friend Ruli, who was Day 229. We did it that way, because the weather forecast said serious rain and we didn’t want to go out and get seriously wet.

But as I look out the window, I can clearly see that it’s not raining. It was earlier, but just a drizzle, but now nada. And it’s not even that cold, so we coulda gone out, but we told Juan we’d post his photo here today and since out word is our bond here he is.

Long Beach Faces, Day 231. January 31, 2023.

Here is Hannah, who is either evil or fabulous, depending on your point of view, because she describes food in such a way that makes you have to eat it.

Me: after she described the buttercream cake with vanilla ice cream on it: Is it really as good as you say it is?”

Hannah: It’s what people come in here for.

So, with her assurances that it was the best thing since the most wonderful thing you’ve ever had, I ordered it.

And when I tasted it, I thought both it and she were fabulous, because it was just about the best thing I’d ever had for dessert. The only thing that coulda made it better was if it woulda been served on a little lake of whisky in the bottom of a bowl, the way they do whisky tartas in Mallorca. I remember, my friend Michael Barr and I got a little too tipsy after eating a few of those one day. Of course we mighta been replenishing that whisky lake more than we shoulda.

Anyway, Hannah works at Nik’s On Second, which is across the street from where our record store used to be. McCain’s Records is now a restaurant. Vesta and I haven’t eaten there yet, but we’ll get around to it.

Back to that desert. Tiffany—who ordered the hot fudge sundae for desert, so she has no room to talk—said, just as I was putting that last spoonful into my mouth, “You know, Dad, there’s as many calories in what you just ate as you eat in two days.

So what, I thought. And then the next morning, I thought, you know, maybe Hannah is a little evil after all, because I gained three pounds.

Long Beach Faces, Day 232. February 1, 2023.

Here is Natalie, who is a server at Viaje, an upscale Mexican restaurant on Second Street. And I have to say, she’s a server extraordinaire, because we were celebrating Vesta’s birthday there and some of us might, just possibly maybe have had a tad too much to drink.

But she was unflappable, serving us with a smile, when I might’ve wanted to smack one or two of us in the head with her serving tray. Heck, I might’ve even wanted to smack me.

Long Beach Faces, Day 233. February 2, 2023.

Here is Courtney, who is a nurse practitioner and that makes her one of our heroes. She’s flashing us the peace sign and that’s a good thing, because the good lord knows, we could sure use a little peace in this world, because “war is not healthy for children and other living things.” That was on a patch Vesta sewed on one of my utility shirts after I got out of the service, a long time ago.

I still have that shirt. It’s pretty threadbare now. And it goes without saying that there’s not a tinker’s chance in hell that I’ll ever fit into it again. But heck, I can dream.

And, oh yes, can you see that handsome couple reflected in Courtney’s glasses in the two photos above?

Long Beach Faces, Day 234. February 3, 2023

Here are Daron and Mannyü who Vesta and I met at the Amazon return counter in the Whole Foods in the center on PCH and Second. They had just taken in Baby Yoda as a return.

“Aww,” Vesta said. “Who’d wanna return that?”

“That’s what we thought,” Daron said.

And I said, “We have this One Thousand and One Long Beach Faces project and you three ought to be in it.”

Long Beach Faces, Day 235. February 4, 2023.

Here is Chris, the Barber. He cuts hair at the hair cutting place on Second Street. We didn’t get much of a chance to talk to him, because he had hair to cut.

When I was a kid, my mom would take me and my brothers to the barber once a month to get haircuts and I always enjoyed the experience, even though I never liked the result. That barber made me look like a dork. But I kept going to him, because even in high school, when I could have input as to what I wanted my head to look like, I didn’t really care. So dork, I was.

Right after high school, like a day after, I was in barber chair in San Diego and a Marine Corps barber gave me about a thirty second Marine Corps haircut and I liked neither the experience nor the result. And don’t get me wrong, I never, not ever, liked the dorky haircuts I grew up with, but I liked this one, way, way less. And looking in the mirror, at the sassy, asshole smile on that shitty Marine Corps barber’s face, I vowed then and there, that when Uncle Sam and I were through, that I was gonna be through with barbers too.

And apparently razors as well. Because when I finally got to be in charge of my own hair, nobody touched it. And I must’ve been poor (that’s a joke), too poor at least to afford razors, because I grew hair all over my head and my face too. And I kept it for years.

Then one day, I don’t remember why, so I think it must have been at Vesta’s urging, I walked up to the corner (we lived half a block off Second in the Shore), turned left and went into a beauty salon, where a girl named Sonja was free and she cut my hair and I left their looking like I was back in the human race.

She cut my hair for years. When she changed salons to Effie’s across the street, I followed her. Vesta said, the reason why I stayed with her, was because she was pretty and having her cut your hair was like a full body experience. She was like all over you when she did her job. I told Vesta she was wrong, that I followed Sonja, because for the first time in my life, I liked the way a barber (okay, she was a beautician) made me look.

But Vesta said. “I watched how she cut your hair and you like it.”

Okay, maybe I did. But I liked the haircut too.

Then we left the Shore for Paris and I went though a whole slew of haircutters. Some good, some not so good. Till I got to the point where I had it cut once a year, whether it needed it or not.

And then one day I walked into a beauty shop in West Mall, a Mall on Western Main Road, about fifteen minutes from Port of Spain in Trinidad. And the girl I got told she’d never a cut a white man’s hair before. So I told her to just shave it all off.

“Oh lord, I couldn’t do that,” she said. Then she flattered me, by telling me I was too handsome to go bald all over. And, of course, she had me then. I’d’a bought a car from her if she was selling.

“Then just do whatever you want.”

“What if I mess up.”

“My dad once told me the only difference between a good haircut and a bad one is two weeks. So if you mess up, I’ll just sail out to Five Islands, put the anchor down and read for two weeks and then your haircut will be fine.”

“You’re a Yachtie.” That’s what locals called people who live on lived on sailboats back then and they probably still do.

“Guilty.” I said.

“You married?”

“Are you proposing.”

“No, silly,” she said. “It’s just that most yachites have their wives cut their hair.”

“Oh, I never thought of that.” Then I said. “But she’s never done that before. She’d probably really screw it up.”

“I can hear you,” Vesta said. She’d come with me and was sitting within ear’s reach. “And so what if I screw it up, because you can read for two week, till it gets better.”

“What are you saying?”

“Just what your dad said. The only difference between a good haircut and a bad one is two weeks.”

And that is how Vesta became my barber.

1001 Long Beach Faces, Day 236. February 5, 2023.

So, we got up late. Had breakfast and didn’t get to those seventy-five steps down to the beach till 9:00. But we met Gevork and Zoe in front of the Art Museum on Ocean, which is right next to those steps before we started down and they had hardly anything on.

No, I don’t mean they were almost nude, I mean they had on summer clothes on a winter day. It was bloody cold out. At least Vesta and I thought so and to prove it we were wearing warm jackets.

But Gevork said told us they were on vacation from Massachusetts and this weather was nothing to them. Besides, they were out running so that’ll warm you up. And after a minute or so talking to them, I remembered why we were outside at all and I asked them if we could photograph them.

Then, since we were already out, Vesta made me follow her down those steps. Oh well, I supposed I’m healthier now than when I got up this morning so there is that.

On another note, I’m listening to Train as I’m writing this. I’ve got all their records on my computer, but I only spent a day listening to them, when I bought them a long time ago. So, today I decided to play them all day, you know, to get my moneys worth.

And they have this song on their record, “a girl, a bottle, a boat,” called “Working Girl,” about a guy in love with a hooker. And all I have to say about that is, “Good on ya Train.” I’ve always thought hookers get a bad rap. Vesta and I have photographed a couple and they were really nice people.

Working girls. Gotta love ‘em.

Long Beach Faces, Day 237. February 6, 2023.

Oftentimes, we’ll go out in the evening, searching for a face or two for this project to post the following morning. But, truth be told, we’d rather photograph the people for this one on the morning we post them, but nature has been messing with us lately, like she did yesterday.

She gave us, in the words of Gordon Lightfoot, “Early Morning Rain.” So we didn’t get out till 9:00. And not wanting to be fooled again, we went out at sundown yesterday, planning to walk on the beach and find a person or persons there, maybe with the setting sun in the background.

But it was cold and the wind was starting to pick up and right of the bat, we knew the beach was going to be no fun. And then we saw Abriana and Mojan heading our way and us, not even having crossed Ocean yet.

And Mojan had that gorgeous red hair. Vesta and I are suckers for pretty girls with colorful hair. Bright red, blue, green, orange or Vesta’s favorite, purple. When girls with colorful hair cross our paths, we tend to photograph them. Guys too, for that matter.

I made my hair purple for a day a few years ago and I got a lotta weird looks. True, it was in Texas. Fortunately Vesta was with me and she had purple hair too. We did it for her mother’s birthday bash where a lot of us flouted purple locks.

So, we stopped these girls and they loved our project, both saying we should take it to Tik Tok. Oh lordy, another social media site, I thought and I told them I thought we might be to old for Tik Tok and Mojan said, “No way, they’d love your project there.”

And they proceeded to give us a a lot of Tik Tok advice. And hard as it is to believe, I’m thinking about it and I told Vesta so when we got home.

And she said, “Oh woe is us.”

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