- Ted & Debbie (Photographers)
Leaving Portland. Sam loved Lewis and Clark College and I had some good meetings. The restorative effects of Powell’s Bookstore and Stumptown Coffee have left residual impressions on both of us. The drive to Tacoma is full of trees on both sides of the road. Bridges takes us over cold darkening water as the sun starts to set at 4:30 in the afternoon. Â We are listening to The Doors 1st record loud enough that if we wanted to talk, the volume would have to be turned down. But we don’t talk much. We let Ray Manzarek’s quirky rythmic organ solo get engulfed by Jim Morrison’s howling vocals. I think abut wolves and bears hunting for food on this early December afternoon. I think to myself that if Jim Morrison played the guitar he probably never would have gotten into trouble at that Miami concert in 1969. Break on through to the other side…we are half way to Tacoma.
I am sitting in the college tennis coach’s office he shares with the golf coach. On my left is the assistant coach and on my right is Sam. We are making small talk till 6:00 when they are to meet the head coach for dinner. Sam is framed by a Magic Erase board with the names of new students interested and or being recruited by the college. “The blue checks after the names means they’ve visited the campus and the green dots I’m not too sure about,” says the assistant coach. Sam’s name is on the board- no checks or dots. Another southern California kid who Sam has played a few times and beaten quite handily is on the board. He has a check and a dot after his name. I’m not too interested in cracking the code of what the green dots mean.
It’s 6:00. Time for me to go. Time for Sam to have dinner in the cafeteria with the coaches and sleep with his choice of the team captain who lives in a frat house or a freshman who lives in the dorms. I get up and shake the assistant coaches hand and give Sam an awkward hug and say, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” Walking out of the athletic center surrounded by girls and boys all taller then me I notice that my orange (Clementine) Patagonia down jacket matches the team colors. It’s cold outside and there’s a feeling off loss in me that is totally unexpected. I hope that Sam is not feeling this loss. I’m hoping Sam is feeling excited about starting a new journey in his life.
Well yeah, it’s a rainbow off to the right of Â Mt. Hood. If Â you look closely you can almost see it. It’s small. We finish our shoot on Mt. Hood and wind our way down the hill to spend the night in Portland. That means Stumptown Coffee and dinner at Clyde Common.
I’m on the plane now. Hawaiian Airlines flight 25 to Honolulu. Â Got an upgraded bulkhead aisle seat with lots of leg room and I’m dozing in and out of sleep even before we take off. Once in the air, an announcement comes over the P.A. system that we should lower out tray tables becomes food and drink service is about to commence. I almost forgot what food service was on an airplane. It’s just a turkey sandwich with potato chips and cookies but I enjoy it none the less.
So I’m back. I’m greeted with seared ahi and grilled mahi- mahi. Debbie’s gives me a beautiful ukulele for my birthday and I find myself falling back into summer strumming it around a bond fire at the beach with my family and friends.
So I leave the beach with camera and my Hawaiian wardrobe which consists of one pair of socks, one pair of underwear,one pair of pants, a few shirts and wake up in Portland to an espresso at my favorite coffeehouse Stumptown.
The flight is long. I’m stuck with a window seat over the wing with no chance of escape. I watch the movie with no headphones out of the corner of my eye, while reading my book and watching the sun set on the wing of the airplane.
As I travel eastbound I slowly lose track of time. The plane lands and I’m in Portland. Â I set my watch to the local time and realize that I really have… lost time.