Posts Tagged ‘fun’

The first graduating class of San Juan Hills High School held its first Grad Night celebration at a secret spot in San Clemente…

Gett'n Down...

Okay, they are good to go....

Laser tag...do you have the moves?

A smile to match your new doo....

This break dancer has the moves...

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Paul Bersebach and Carrie Turbow on the summit of Mt. Whitney at 14,496 feet.


Paul Bersebach and Carrie Turbow didn’t get enough last year and so this year they are going back.  If you happen to be up at 2am on Sunday morning for a glass of water or to check out why the dog is barking, take a moment to think of Bersebach and Turbow as they hit the trailhead on the way to a one day summit ascent of Mount Whitney; the highest point in the lower United States at 14, 496 feet. 


 Look skyward after a slow leisurely lunch around 2pm and you can imagine them at the summit.  At 8pm, after dinner and a post bar-b-que walk around the block, you can be assured that they will be just about back to where they started 18 hours before.  Their latitude and altitude in the California Sierras will allow them a few more seconds of sunset; for both of them, it’s worth it and everything they will have hoped for…again.


Bersebach and Turbow signed their names into the logbook at the top of Mount Whitney.

 About this time last year they had made the climb for the first time.  The 2007 effort had been a three day long tour of sorts but this year, it will be a sprint.  Bersebach, a staff photographer at the Orange County Register, is incorporating this climb, like last years, into a journal for the newspaper, to chronicle his efforts along with Turbow, his girlfriend. 



The two have only been hiking for three years and originally began after thinking back to common and shared moments on the trails with their fathers.  Upon signing the National Forestry logbook at the top Whitney last year, they each dedicated the climb to their respective dad’s.  I am wondering if, in order to solidify their thoughts, memories and love for dad, they haven’t organized the climb for father’s day this year.


“Carrie and I really have each thought back to the times we spent with our fathers, hiking and just spending time together…our focus has been to get back to that somehow with our climb on Whitney…”


View looking west from Trail Crest on the Mt. Whitney Trail at 13,360 feet.  Below is Guitar Lake.





Bersebach explains the immense satisfaction and relief of attaining the summit last year and it’s clear that it is the backbone to the plan for this year as well.  The mechanics of preparing equipment and practice climbs, each one more difficult and demanding than the one before, have meant more than a few trips to REI and a recent practice climb in the San Gorgonio Mountains. 



A big component of this year’s climb will be that they will be traveling a lot lighter and so will be “pumping” or filtering water as they go.  There is one thing that Bersebach will change from what he did last year.


“…last year we took a lot of energy goos and energy bars and this year we are going to concentrate on more things that are actually food…”


I asked him if he thought if he would learn or discover anything new this year on the climb and in that true straight forward common sense way that Midwesterners seem to be born with he said,


“…Nothing new…but the satisfaction in the completion of a goal….and …sore legs…” 


Actually, it sounds more Bersebachian than Midwestern.




























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Ruben Gracia with \


 Ruben Gracia, of Yorba Linda, had no doubt about what to call his 1956 Chevy 210 coup when he began to restore it 3 ½ years ago.  Gracia is a Sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff and remembers what happened back in the day when the police came through the neighborhood.


“Yeah…the cops would cruise down the street and we’d shout  “…la hura…la hura…” and so that’s why I put it on the license plate…”


“La Hura” is Gracia’s first effort to restore a car and although he never thought about giving up, there were plenty of times when he wondered what would come next.  He explains a tale of what many restorers can share about the past history of their car.




“It was a rust bucket…originally it was in Arizona and the guy that had it couldn’t finish it and so I got it…most of it in boxes…just say it was a complete frame off

restoration…anyone in cars will know what that means…”




Gracia estimates that he has put about 1500 miles on the car in the last 2 years since it has been done.  Its his second year for the car show in San Clemente.  Gracia doesn’t belong to any car clubs but has shown it at various sheriff car shows and says that inner city youth have shown a special interest in the car.



“I have been offered 75,000 cash for the car but after all the work, I am just not interested in selling it…not with all the work…


“La Hura” has a 396 big block, gets 6 or 7 miles per gallon, and is a certified 13 second car; it will hit 60 mph in 13 seconds on a ¼ mile.  Gracia hasn’t pushed the car but estimates it’s top speed at 120 mph. 














Gracia admits the red and white two tone is not original but says the colors really clicked.  I pressed him on the ethic of keeping the car original.  He sighed, acknowledging my words but dismissing the idea and responded confidently.


“…red and white…it just seemed the way to go…”


I do not see how anyone on the road will miss “La Hura”.







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Santa Margarita Catholic High School Class of 2008.

 I shot the Santa Margarita Catholic High School Class of 2008 graduation ceremony on Saturday for the newspaper.  It was held at The Bren Center at UCI in Irvine.  I got there early and shot the kids getting ready outside, and the lineup to go in.


Nervous and excited, they hugged, shook hands and smiled at each other.  There were a little over 400 total graduates this year.  It occurred to me that this will be the last time they will all be together in one spot again; a bitter sweet freedom, and if you have graduated from high school, you will instantly know what I mean.  I imagined the photos I took today, printed in the paper, will find their way into more than a few scrap books and maybe a poster at the 20 year reunion. 


I saw these two posing for pictures with family and friends and having a great time defending themselves from jibes and jokes designed for funny expressions and the snap of a photo.  They are best friends; one is destined for Notre Dame in the fall and the other is going to Holy Cross.  A bright future shines in their eyes; the soft shadow of accomplishment spreads across those that surround them.  The small concrete courtyard where they stand, smiling and leaning on each other, is not big enough for who they are now.  Our timid awareness that most of the class of 2008 will not see each other again is relieved with these two.


Amazingly, over their lifetime, they will become better friends.  They are the sum of all the photos I have taken of the class of 2008.


I see them both at each others wedding and both as the best man.  I think they will most likely live close to each other and if not, I see a big phone bill from calling every day.  Closer at hand, I foresee a summer roadtrip sometime in the next four years where they could not possibly imagine no one in the small Midwest towns they’ll pass through, will be able to recognize a roadtrip when they see one.  They will attempt to break all the records of messy hotel rooms, cheap diners, brutaly red sunburns and staying awake the longest.  They will have bags full of fun and talk about their trip for the next 60 years, even after their wives have long left the room.   


They will be the godfathers for each others children and they will send each other funny gag gifts on birthdays.  They’ll share golf tips and become mildly irritated after discussing the merits of their individual favorite professional sports teams.  They already know which of them doesn’t like ketchup or mustard or mayo or wheat bread.  They will get to be 50 years old and wonder about how fast it’s all gone by while they stand with their sons and daughters for photos in a courtyard that is not big enough for them. 




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Robert Cray at the 11th Annual Doheny Blues Festival last Saturday.

I was sent by the Orange County Register to shoot snapshots of the crowd at the 11th Annual Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point.  I went last Saturday, the 17th, and was really surprised by how many people attended.  I have my press pass and so after some checking I got in and went to work.


The best part of the whole thing was just seeing everyone getting along and having a good time.  I like all types of music and although I wouldn’t pay to get into any venue just to listen to the music like at Doheny, I could appreciate the fact that there is good reason to do it if you are into it. 


There was the usual parade of drunks and those folks that seem to be always out to over ambitiously dress and call attention to themselves but, all in all it was really laid back.  I had been thinking that I was not going to get assigned the shoot and had applied for an independent press pass which the event company never got back to me about.  After seeing the routine, I could see why; they had their hands full and although it wasn’t poorly organized there were some shaggy parts here and there.  I think trying your best counts for a lot and they really tried to pull it off and I think it was a success and getting better every year.


When ever I go on a shoot I really concentrate and so I was not paying too much attention to the music.  Mostly looking through the crowd from the point of view of the performer, I shot people, couples and kids enjoying the music.  When I was done, I sat checking my images to make sure I had my shots and was able to listen to Robert Cray a little bit.  I had never heard of him and really only remember him now as I had to include his name in a photo caption that I sent in. 


He has a great voice with tremendous emotion, in addition to playing the guitar really well.  I think, as he sang the words to his songs, he really meant it and the crowd was into it as well.  At one point his guitar failed and it seems the audio in general did as well.  He just kept on going, doing his thing; the mark of a true professional.  The roadie brought out a new one; he smiled, acknowledged the crowd with a shy smile and continued on as if he was in his own backyard playing just for himself.


I ended up at his website the other day to see if I could find out anymore about him and after looking at his schedule, decided there was nothing more to see.  He is busy all the time and just goes from one gig to another.  I wondered what that must be like and what he is like when he takes a break.  Just another job I guess.





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