organic chemistry {noun} the chemistry of carbon compounds (other than simple salts such as carbonates, oxides, and carbides)

November 25, 2007

Going to Texas to Find My Blue Eyes

On the second morning of our trip to San Diego, we stopped for fuel before leaving Oakdale, CA. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was breaking the horizon , the air was cool and crisp, but not for long. The market where we decided to stop was bustling. The highway it rested on was becoming busy with vehicles. A man with a handcart was hurriedly racing in and out quickly restocking the small store with beer and liquor. Taking all of this in, I made my way inside to settle with the cashier. When I returned to the truck I noticed a lady who wasn't there when I went inside. She was leaning against the newspaper rack smoking a cigarette. She had a pink plaid jacket and was wearing a hat. She seemed to peer at her surroundings from under the safety of this hat. Her brown eyes almost lost in the shade under the brim. I went to her and began a conversation. I asked her if she was from around this place. She said she was. She told me that she was en route to Texas. She seemed drunk, but perhaps it was more of a hangover, or I could be wrong all together. I could not understand through her slurred speech and heavy accent to what town she was heading. I asked if she had family there and she did not answer. She paused for a minute before telling me that she had once had blue eyes and that someone had taken them. She was going to Texas to find them. She said "...somehow, someday, I will find them...". I told her my name was Shawn and that I was on a road trip from Idaho to help my sister. "What's your name?" I asked. She responded, "Yolanda". I asked if I could make a portrait of her and she eagerly agreed. I did so. She thanked me and we were on our way.

Yolanda . Oakdale, CA . 2007

Mid morning on the final stretch home we needed to stop for a quick break. The next place on the road was this market in Dell, MT. I went in to use the facilities and when I came back through I was greeted by a very friendly woman behind the counter. She asked where we were heading. I told her the short version of the story. She had seen the trailer outside. We were obvious. I asked her name. Kim. She does not own this market, but works there and she lives in "the next town over". I asked if she'd mind if made a photo of her. Of course not. I mean who could escape the charm of some perfect stranger asking to take your picture? I gathered my gear from the Chevy, came back inside and made the following portrait. Just as I was finishing up, her two boys came in and asked to have their picture taken. "Absolutely." I said. I had already planned on taking a picture of the front of this market, so I suggested we go outside. The boys led the way. Gradeyn and Travis posed naturally and without any direction. The true organic portrait. I would say that about 90% of my portraits work out his way. It was true with Yolanda, Kim, these boys, as well as others that I have shared and will continue to share. More images from this trip will come shortly. With them will come stories and feelings from the road.

Kim . Dell, MT . 2007

Gradyn & Travis . Dell, MT . 2007


cnephoto said...

Love Yolanda!
The story made it even better.

Pod said...

i love the ones of yolanda and kim. good work dude!
and i am marvelling at those sideburns!

Shawn Gust said...

Thanks guys!

Pod-You like the chops, huh? My wife's been asking me to wear sideburns like this for a while now. And well, here they are!

Shelly Lowenkopf said...

Hey,Shawn, just found Yolanda and Kim, and glad of it. They both talk to me.

Kyle Johnson said...

loving the shot of kim. feels like its from another time