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New Day at Pomponio Beach

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 6 April 2010 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

A Personal Marker

It was forty years ago this day - at the age of twenty - that I entered California for the first time. My friend and roommate, Alan Duncan, and I had traveled from our home in Arlington, Virginia - on what was supposed to be a three week vacation. We started this journey on April Fools Day. We had crossed the United States in a Volkswagen 'bug' (hi, Evie) - and it was a grand adventure.

Alan would stay here for more than three years. I am still here. It has been a very long three weeks.

When I got to California - I knew I was 'home'. There was an openness and freedom here - the likes of which I'd never experienced. An 'outside of the box' spirit of possibilities. A challenge to the status-quo. It was the miserable height of the Vietnam war. I had become quite anti-establishment and found kindred souls who saw hope in the free speech and peace movements. WE would change the world - re-arrange the world.

Now would follow: jobs as a census enumerator, book store manager, record retailer, legal investigator, taxi driver, dispatcher of taxi cabs, ferries, and then tugs and barges, a graphic artist, a travel agent, and of course - photographer; a marriage, a divorce, the relationships of fine women with whom I was more than friends - and most of whom I am grateful to still count as friends; my California homes in Kenwood, Penn Grove, Petaluma, my San Francisco homes in Downtown, North Beach, the Richmond District, the Sunset, the Western Addition, the Mission District, and in the towns of Larkspur and Corte Madera, and now Oakland; great friends, many teachers, fabulous adventures, stunning meals, and fabulous theater; pain, suffering, laughs, joys, a few broken bones, sobriety, and a robust spiritual exploration.

I am very grateful for the life I have lived for these past forty years as a citizen of California. I must note the love and value I have for my dear friend, Alan Ducan - my travel companion forty-years back. Loyal, patient, bright, thoughtful, and as good a friend as one could hope to have. Alan moved back east in 1973 and resided in Enfield, Connecticut. He passed away almost ten years ago from kidney failure. I only would wish that he could be here to share this anniversary.

And so it goes...

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

What a lovely landscape

6 Apr 2010 5:24am

Pavan Kaul from Mumbai, India

Wonderful...just so beautifully photographed by you Stephen!

6 Apr 2010 6:05am

yz from Budapest, Hungary

beautifully composed

6 Apr 2010 8:13am

Rui from Leiria, Portugal

Very nice landscape Stephen. And more important your milestone. I read your text and drunk every word you wrote... You're a brave soul my friend so keep on for the next 40 years :)
And I'm sure that your friend Alan is watching you wherever he is, and will be smiling for your "tribute".

6 Apr 2010 9:05am

@Rui: Thanks, Rui - and my best to you. Thank you for being an inspired member of this wonderful community. I am grateful for your presence.

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

A moving story of your experience in California, Stephen.
I wish to thank you for the moments of my reading of this lines and for the opportunity of knowing you a little bit more.
Happy celebration, I will have a cup of wine for it :)

6 Apr 2010 9:12am

@Paco Díaz: Thanks, Francisco - I greatly value your presence in my life. Enjoy that glass of wine.

ripple from Nottingham, United Kingdom

I really like the composition - lovely landscape

6 Apr 2010 10:03am

David from Detroit, United States

This is a very gentle landscape, and your story is a fine one.

6 Apr 2010 12:02pm

@David: Thank you, David. You ARE the Motown man - and I value your images, words, and thoughts.

JJ from Jersey City, United States

What a beautiful landscape, and goes well with your explanation of your love of and anniversary of your time in California, I am sure Alan is looking down on you and smiling knowing you remember him and this anniversary

I can relate to this as well, as I joined the UN 20 years ago last November for a one year adventure and then to return home, but here i still am

6 Apr 2010 12:20pm

@JJ: Thanks for these words, JJ. Where was home before your UN assignment? It is amazing to contemplate the things that seem routine going in - but that then manage to completely shift the path our life will take.

MontereyJohn from Salinas, California, United States

I love that place. Nicely shot.

6 Apr 2010 1:47pm

MontereyJohn from Salinas, California, United States

BTW, that "sobriety" thing is something we have in common.

6 Apr 2010 1:49pm

@MontereyJohn: Thanks, John. We are proof that the 'second chance' lives. The only 'proof' I need!

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

Stephen, thank you for sharing the California "life story" in such a personal way. You have certainly lived the life, as they say, and seemingly left very little of it unsampled. Based on the rough estimates of age and years you alluded to, I'm guessing you're about my age (and I guess from one Baby Boomer to another, a pretty amazing number to have reached). Your images, like fine wine, seem to get better and better as you go along... Blessings, my friend. Great photo today.

6 Apr 2010 3:24pm

@Viewfinder: Thanks, Glenn - I suppose there is always infinitely more left unsampled than a soul can experience in these few years of life. But I am not complaining. I have a rich life and wonderful friends. All the best...

Yonatan from Bronx, United States

Very nice scene Stephen. The cliff reflecting in the water is nice and the haze in the distance makes we wonder what is beyond it. Thank you for sharing your milestone with all of us. It's always interesting to hear how people wind up where they are and the journey in between. It is the journey that counts and not the end game and it sounds like yours has been full of passion and will continue to be for many years to come.

6 Apr 2010 4:23pm

@Yonatan: Bless you for your kind words and presence, here - Yonatan. I deeply apreciate your friendship here and always love seeing your imagery - and our thoughts.

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

After having discover all your Californian shots, day after day, i had already understood your love and your fascination for this place... your state of heart. Thanks for the story and your touching thoughts for your friend.

6 Apr 2010 4:26pm

@Evelyne Dubos: Thank you, Evelyne. Thank you for your sensitive, insightful, clear, and magnificent eye - and heart - reflecting the light of life on earth. It has been suggested that 'talent' is a gift FROM God. That using this talent is a gift TO God. You embrace this circle with your imagery. You are a teacher and I love the lessons of your lens.

ordinaryimages from Kentucky Bluegrass, United States

If I remember correctly, I was in La Jolla at the time putting black lines on white paper. In the intermittent twenty plus years I was in California I enjoyed every moment, but never found a home. I do have an affection for the Northern coastline, though I feel like a tourist on my infrequent returns. Some people are just destined for a country lane. A clink of the crystal me lad. best...jerry

6 Apr 2010 4:40pm

@ordinaryimages: Jerry - I completely understand. I just returned today from 10 days away - the last 3 in the Eyreka - Arcata area. Each time I walk amidst those redwoods, beaches, farms, and villages - I wonder how I could make a living up there. The area has really been torpedoed by the recession. Anyway - I came hoe today - detouring through Mendocino and a meeting with a model who will be working with me in the near future. A darn fine way to celebrate the day. And to toast - again - my Kentucky compadre and his 'simple' secret!

Jeff from Pembroke Dock, Wales., United Kingdom

Congratulations my Friend,but don't spend too much time dwelling on the past,look to the future and dream of the pleasures to come.

6 Apr 2010 6:02pm

@Jeff: Thanks, Jeff - sound advice. I've also learned not to 'trip' on the unknowable future - but to simply embrace the 'being' of the moment - humbled and grateful for the richness of it all. Thank you for being part of our extraordinary AM3 family.

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

It's a magnificent image Stephen, and a wonderful story you've told. Even tho Alan is no longer here with're lucky that you have such find, fond memories!!! Good friends are hard to come by.....glad that you found your home out there on the left coast.....and i'm still threatening to come out and meet you in person!!!!

7 Apr 2010 12:03am

@Susan: Give me a little heads-up - - - I want to be certain to be around. Thanks for being, Susan. You are a gift.

cathy from moon, VA, United States

A spectacular photo for your milestone. Auguri!

7 Apr 2010 12:52am

@cathy: Thank you, Cathy.

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

Great story! Happy anniversary! I am happy you found a home, a calling, a love, and most of all your happiness!

7 Apr 2010 2:16am

@Ralph Jones: Thanks so much, Ralph. I was traveling all day today and what a wonderful way to spend this day! From Eureka to Mendocino to home - a beautiful reminder of why I was seduced by this place called - California. And thanks for being a solid part of the AM3 family. I always look forward to seeing what new angle you are seeing the world from!

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Magnificent image to go with this "colourful" journey through life... :) Thank you for sharing!

7 Apr 2010 3:50am

@Magda: Thanks for the visit and kind words, Magda. I deeply appreciate our AM3 connection and your imagery.

MK from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

wonderful details in the foreground. good shot

7 Apr 2010 4:30am

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Probably won't be for awhile..... but I'll definitely give ya plenty of advance warning!!!!

7 Apr 2010 12:25pm

melodia from ffm, Germany

how beautiful this landscape is... very nice captured, great light situation!

7 Apr 2010 7:53pm

Karthik from Chennai, India

Wonderful composition Stephen and a great tribute to your friend

12 Apr 2010 4:52am

See The Light from Newcastle, United States

very nice......

21 Apr 2010 7:35am