October 31, 2020
**Dorothy and Jan**
I didn’t acknowledge last month, the passing of one of my dear friends Jan Reid. Jan was a great writer. We first met on an assignment for Texas Monthly on the Kickapoo Indian tribe, based in Nacimiento, Mexico. We went down several times over a three month period, and during that time I got to know Dorothy and Jan. There were many memorable moments doing that story together. The ceremonial dances, Hale-Bopp comet in the sky, sleeping in a wikiup, but mostly gaining the trust of the people that let me photograph them. That is one of the most rewarding facets of doing an assignment. Later in life Jan was shot in Mexico city. He wrote a book called “The Bullet Meant for Me” It’s the harrowing story of the event. Jan walked with a cane for the rest of his life, and I believe it was the medications he had to take that made his speech jittery. We went to Italy for Robert Draper’s wedding, and watching how brave and determined Jan was to do things on his own made me admire and respect him ten fold. When we got back home he told me about the shooting, and I made photographs of him as he spoke. In his kitchen, he pulled up his shirt and showed me his scars like LBJ. As he was telling me it seemed he went right back to the moment he was shot. I made an image of him staring in to that space. It’s eerie.
Jerry Jeff Walker and Billy Jo Shaver. Ahhhh Man.
**Blue Moon Rant**
Since the Covid pandemic, I’ve found myself having discussions with friends about how weird these times are, and I have to admit it is definitely in the top five of my lifetime. But in the history that I am aware of, weird is not so abnormal. Before I was alive there was a flu epidemic that killed thousands of people. There was a civil war. There was polio, which I have a vaccine scar from. There were two world wars. The USA dropped an atomic bomb on innocent people, and then did it again three days later. There was one man with an army of followers that killed 6 million human beings. When I was 9 years old our president got his head blown off, and a couple of days later I watched Lee Harvey Oswald get killed on live TV. The 60’s were full of assassinations, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy. There was a war in Vietnam on our TV sets every night. Kent State. When John Lennon was murdered, a piece of me died too. 911, was unbelievable to watch. How could that have happened? The Black Lives Matter Movement. Young men and woman being killed because of the pigment of their skin. There are plenty of other things. Fill in your own here____________________. What makes me anxious about right now, besides the possibility of getting the Coronavirus, is that we are so divided as Americans. When did that slowly creep in to our society. How could racism and inequality still be the struggle we are in? This blue moon rant is not a political statement. I know nothing about politics, except that we are affected by the choices of our leaders. These are the United States. I love my country, but I don't understand it right now.