Chance Encounter

Billy Faier - musician
Billy Faier – musician
Sometimes it is easy to forget that life is a journey full of unexpected twists. One day on a whim or boredom, I drove four hundred miles from San Antonio to the West Texas crossroads town of Marathon. I pass through Marathon once or twice a year on my way to Big Bend. It’s a good place to stop for coffee. In fact it is the last place to stop for anything for more than a hundred miles when heading into the Bend.

Sitting on the patio of my regular coffee joint was an old man playing the banjo with such eloquence that I had to sit down and listen. Funny, none of the other patrons seemed to notice him there. He was playing and singing tunes straight out of the East Coast folk scene of the 1940s and 50s. Given where he was in far West Texas it was like he had beamed in from another place and time.

That is how I made the acquaintance of Billy Faier. He was genuinely a veteran folk singer, friend of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, traveling companion of Woodie Guthrie, contemporary of Pete Seeger and practitioner of progressive politics. He was old school in ways that are hard to comprehend for the twenty first century. Now at eighty four or eighty five years old he was transplanted to another place altogether.

We spoke for half an hour. He had a bright cheerful manner with plenty of stories which he punctuated with simply beautiful solo banjo music. I bought a couple CDs and told him I’d see him next time I was out that way. Sadly he died before I got back to Marathon. I won’t forget him anytime soon.

Night Speed

Night Speed
Night Speed
Staying with the darkness for one more post. This image is a riff on work done by West Coast artists such as Ed Ruscha. Long lines and exaggerated perspective appeals to me. Having been born and raised at least part of the time in the American West, I tend to see landscapes with a certain color, sweep and depth. The result of saturated golden hour hues from dust in the atmosphere and deep blue high altitude light. It became imprinted in my perception as a child. That is my story anyway. Regardless of where I live I can close my eyes and see the Wasatch range topped with snow and glowing in golden light.

Download the latest Phototrice calendar in PDF format. Direct download links – No signup required.

The North America calendar
Weeks starting on Sunday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 41 – North America

The International calendar
Weeks starting on Monday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 41 – International

Seeing Red

Seeing Red - Ferrari
Seeing Red – Ferrari
This time of year I wake up on Saturday thinking about who will make Q3 and how the start will go on Sunday. It is a ritual that I have kept since the day I watched Senna driving a wet track on slicks and passing everyone. Unfortunately not in a Ferrari.

There are many brilliant drivers in the history of F1 but two are at the top of my list. Two very different drivers, Mansell and Senna. Mansell seemed to approach every start with the attitude that he would not be denied the win. He was a perpetual underdog in his own eyes. That made him unpredictable in the paddock and on the track. When he was on the grid you could sense his single minded determination above all else.

Senna was also a passionate man with consummate skills. He was magic. He didn’t just drive a car they bonded to become a single entity. That last race at Imola is still fresh in my mind. Drivers walked away from crashes like that. Not this time. He deserved a better fate.

This year a new formula, new opportunities and an open championship. Could be a good year. Best wishes to all the greats, near greats and journeyman who ply their trade in F1.

Download the latest Phototrice calendar in PDF format. Direct download links – No signup required.

The North America calendar
Weeks starting on Sunday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 28 – North America

The International calendar
Weeks starting on Monday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 28 – International