Portrait of a deaf family

Portrait of a deaf family

Portrait of a deaf family

I had the opportunity this week to spend some time with the Fernsler family for the newspaper. Feta and Erin are deaf parents to children Rowan, 4, and seven-year-old Surina. Check the story at the News Leader here. There is a video I produced there showing what "deaf voice" sounds like. It was fascinating to see and hear what it's like for children growing up with deaf parents. 



Rich Hole Wilderness wildfire

Rich Hole Wilderness wildfire

17,000 acres of forest have burned in Virginia because of dry conditions and high winds. Fires are also burning up the east coast. I've never seen a forest fire, and it seemed like a lot of locals around the Rich Hole Wilderness were rubbernecking, too. 



Elliott Downs

I made these photos today of Elliott Downs at his Harrisonburg, Virginia home. I have the privilege and honor of working with him in the first-ever Art Lotto. Playing off the popular Rock Lotto, Art Lotto pairs artists who then must make portraits of each other in their chosen medium. These are only test shots, the finished product will be nothing like these shots. I can't wait to see how he paints me, I hear there will be motorcycle parts involved somehow. Left is a tiger skull, right is Elliott in his front yard.



Chevy in the woods

Chevy in the woods

I'm back on the slide film, friends. This winter I spent a lot of time out in the woods hiking around wishing I were out on a motorcycle, but I was able to get off the beaten path and find a bunch of old, rusted-out Chevys miles from the road in the George Washington National Forest. I made these frames around Christmas, everything around me was dead and brown. 



Reddish Knob Virginia

Wow, it's been a busy time in photo-land over here. I've been off to New York City, down to Richmond for basketball playoffs several days this week and the day-to-day newspaper / freelance grind. 

Something I've been involved with is a manifesto my friend Katie McCaskey wrote. Now, this isn't a hide-out-in-the-woods-and-pee-in-a-jar manifesto, it's about saving America. More specifically how America's micropolitans (small, rural cities) can be the key to rethinking the economy moving forward. Her words and my photos in this pdf have gone all over the place, from Forbes to a segment on American Public Media's 'The Story' airing tomorrow. Check it out and let me know what you think. 




I had the opportunity to tag along with the Green Valley Auctions moving team as they packed an estate last month. One of the workers here inspects a handgun while packing. It is part of a larger story I am working on that I will post here when it's ready. 



Ashes of American Flags

Ashes of American Flags

Ashes of American Flags

It's been a while since my last post, apologies all around on that front. Recently I covered an assignment that combined two of my favorite things out here: American flag retirement and the Future Farmers of America. The Beverley Manor chapter of the FFA held the ceremony that I covered for the News Leader. 

I just got back from New York City-the first vacation in a long time where I left my camera at home. I made a number of photos with my phone, those were posted on my Tumblr. Go follow it here. 



Ian Boden pop-up

The other day Chef Ian Boden of Staunton Grocery fame hosted the first of a number of pop-ups at Smoking Roosters in Staunton. Smoking Roosters (formerly Willy's Pit Barbecue for those who were fans) is a tiny, hole-in-the-wall jerk chicken place that serves a helluva jerk chicken half. It's the kind of place where you can get oxtail curry and a can of orange Crush, but you might have to go back and get the can from the cooler yourself. 

It's a far cry from the high-brow southern-cuisine redux presented at the Staunton Grocery—but not completely out of line. Boden went with small (Styrofoam) plates, including clams, a hominy stew and home-made pon hoss with an egg. Of course, I went with pon hoss, or slow-cooked face meat from a pig, formed into a loaf and pan-fried. It was the perfect mix of salt and crust with the essence of pork coming through. It was a bit like the head cheese I had at the Staunton Grocery right before it closed, but a bit more refined. The runny egg on top really sealed the deal. A little yolk with a bit of pork and scallions was an amazing bite. Breakfast for dinner lives!

His next pop-up will be on Sunday, Feb. 26 at George Bowers Grocery in downtown Staunton. I'm not sure how he'll manage a kitchen as small as Bowers', but I'm sure it will be a delicious meal. 



Craigsville Food Bank
Justine Tilghman

Craigsville Food Bank

Craigsville Food Bank

Craigsville Food Bank

I had the opportunity to meet Justine Tilghman in Craigsville the other week. We met her at the Craigsville Area Food Pantry where she was chain smoking and drinking regular Coke from a glass bottle through a straw. She was managing the major flow of people into the filling station converted into a food pantry in this very rural, very poor community known for the Augusta Correctional Center and trafficking in bath salts. Tilghman's presence was commanding and warm and I am lucky to have met her. 



Practicing eating fire

Practicing eating fire

So I came home from work tonight and found my wife trying to set herself on fire. Which is to say, she was learning how to eat fire. She got a lesson from the guy who sold us hot dogs earlier this afternoon. See some more photos over here on my Flickr.