Archive for September, 2008


“then and now” meets “the Garudio”

I’ve been away from the blogging for a short while. I have been photographing, but nothing has really inspired me to post. Then while walking Murphy one afternoon, an opportunity presented itself – the continuation of a project already started. 

Jim, a kid I worked with when he was eleven, recognized me and stopped to chat. He is now twenty-four. As one would expect, he has changed far more significantly in appearance than I might have in the last thirteen years.

We talked, caught up a bit on what has happened, and where life has taken each of us. A wonderful conversation. In my experience, he was always an independent and self assured kid – so there is no surprise that he has grown into a confident and adventurous young man. He unapologetically loves beer, ladies, and moshing. He is engaging and casually quotes Ghandi and Nietzsche with ease and  appropriateness. Irony at its finest.

His life has been one of the ‘road less traveled.’ His stories and experiences are amazing, inspiring, and on occasion, even frightening. But it is life, opportunity, and adventure that he embraces – completely. At a very young age he knew without hesitation that he could not be bound by traditional expectations of society. At nineteen, he moved to India – to experience life there. He hiked through Peru to visit Machu Pikchu. Back in the U.S., following a friend’s funeral, he hitched a ride to Seattle and set out to ride his bike across the US – because it was there and he wanted to see the country. His eventual and secondary goal was to ride his bike through the streets of Manhattan, New York; so he set out – alone.

He recalls one occasion of descending the Cascade Mountains on an isolated and deserted road at three in the morning  and describes an increasing sound of massive trampling approaching from behind. He continued to ride, lit only by a full moon, and was joined by a herd of deer which continued to run along side him for over a mile before the headlights of a distant, on-coming truck diverted their path.

Realizing he could not conquer the Rockies on a bike, he opted for a Greyhound bus ride and added volumes to his stories of the diversity, and on occasion frightening element, of humanity.

Running out of money on any occasion allowed him time to take  jobs washing dishes, building things, or doing whatever until he was able to move on. Every occasion viewed as an opportunity for meeting and getting to know more people along his path of life. The stories continue with an enthusiasm and appreciation of life that I find amazing.

The day after I photographed him, Jim was off to Utah to help a friend of his mother with construction. I asked if he was packed. “A backpack, three pairs of jeans, a tent, and a bike . . . yup, I’m packed.” He was sure to point out that he had just bought a brand new pack of underwear and some new t-shirts. He is set for whatever his tomorrows will offer.

His independence is obvious: his lust of adventure and appreciation for life, contagious. 

When he left the garudio, we bumped fists to bid farewell- as one apparently does today.  With a smile, a backpack, and his bike, he peddled off with a promise to find me again. 

The “then” pictures will be added someday – when he gets them to me – the “now” pictures are posted.

The tattoos: not just body art, but stories of his life.

click to enlarge








September 2008